The Awakening Character Analysis

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Awakening is a novel written by Kate Chopin in 1899. As in many of Chopin’s writing, this novel concerns itself with morality and identity.
The restrictions and expectations imposed on the protagonist, Edna Pontellier in the Awakening are based on gender and societal norms in the nineteenth century. In the Victorian Era, society deemed that the role of the woman was purely to be a wife and mother, but Edna had other ambitions, which included sexual freedom. In The Awakening many characters are observed, particularly female characters that are significantly different from each other in society. This ranged from being the ideal “mother-woman” such as Adele Ratignolle to being a free woman like Mademoiselle Reisz. Though these characters are opposite …show more content…

She is comfortable with her marriage and is unaware of her feeling towards independence. She tries to adjust to the creole society and has accepted the life full of responsibilities. Nevertheless, Edna meets people and encounters experiences she has on the Grand Isle, which gradually awaken her desires and urges for art, sexual freedom and music. She discovers her own identity and acts on satisfactions. Hereby, through a series of experiences, also known as awakenings, she becomes an independent woman, defying the norms of society, by only being responsible of her own passion. Unfortunately, Edna’s awakenings isolate her from society, which eventually lead her to the path of solitude. As the ocean, lessons from mademoiselle Reisz and her realization of desires reach her; she is setting herself for free from society’s values. “I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier 's possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, 'Here, Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours, ' I should laugh at you both." (42 - 43) Edna declares that she is not a possession of her husband, which in reality contradicted to the law in Louisiana in the nineteenth century. She asserts that she is alone and has the right as well as power to make decisions about her life, but Robert does not understand this concept, as he makes the decision to eventually follow societal

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