Edna’s rebel towards these expectations allow her to live the life she wants and to find herself. On the contrary, Adele follows these expectations which have taken over her life, she has been told what to do, with no questions asked, and she moves through life. In the beginning of the book, Edna fits in with society but she is unhappy with it. She decides to break away from society’s expectations, she sends her kids to live with their grandmother while she goes off and has an affair. Edna goes about her independence the wrong way, she does so in a selfish manner, abandoning her kids and husband, she even isolates herself from the majority of society.
Edna is the main character in the novel who sacrifices herself in the biggest way possible. She realizes that she cannot face the terms of motherhood and the forced marriage to Leonce Pontellier. Edna wants to be the independent women that she isn’t allowed to be, which the meaning of The Awakening is that people cannot be forced to be in a relationship with a person they don’t truly love. Towards the end of the book after Robert leaves her and as she thinks about her life and the events that have happened that she regretted. Edna said “She was trapped in motherhood.” She didn’t like the lifestyle she was given, she had lost the love for Leonce even though he was in love with her.
The Awakening, a novella by Kate Chopin, introduces Edna Pontellier’s struggle to find independence from society's standards. This novella was set in the 19th century in La Grand Isle, off the coast of Louisiana. While Edna was staying in La Grand Isle she met Robert Lebrun who was very flirtatious; Robert’s innocent flirtation was taken seriously by Edna, and this ultimately sparked her desire to feel independent from the realities of her life. Throughout Edna’s quest for separation from societal expectations she not only became disconnected from her family, but also her friends. Adèle Ratignolle displayed a consistent friendship towards Edna throughout Edna’s rebellious actions towards her family and society.
In the book “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, the main character Edna Pontellier, is faced with many troubles. One of her troubles is the internal conflict of her facing herself and realizing her own identity. She is constantly under pressure to be the person she is expected to be by her peers, friends, and family. She ultimately does being to break free and find her identity even if it did mean that she must kill herself in order to do so. Edna is constantly under pressure from all of the people around her.
Edna’s characterization throughout The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, describes Edna as someone with burning passion who desires to improve not only her life, but the lives of future generations. However Edna’s actions make her often seem weak to the oppressive people around her; sometimes, and in this case unfortunately, good ideas and beliefs are stopped cold by one’s surrounding influences. Edna’s feminist attitude, though formidable, is no match for the individuals who accept the current society’s customs. I find Edna to be a weak person from a general standpoint. However the story masks this obviousness fact by illustrating some of Edna’s questionable actions.
I must think about it" (27.4). Edna fully understands that society would brand her as a terrible woman, but she does not view herself as a bad person. There is an external and internal difference that Edna hopes to one day reconcile. Chopin, instead of creating tension within Edna, created tension within the society and Edna with her newfound independence does not mind how society classifies her. Decisively, it can be concluded that the tension between outward conformity and inward questioning builds the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period.
In The Awakening, Edna represents desire, impulse, and rebellion. While Adele represents the socially accepted woman, she is submissive, obedient, and a homemaker. This drastic contrast facilitates Chopin's emphasis on Edna’s rebellion, and how drastic it was for the time period. “Edna's experience of self-discovery, "tangled" and chaotic and therefore "vague" or hard for her to comprehend, touches upon a core issue, of individual variation and the uncertainty involved in its creation, expression, and consequences.” (Glendening). Chopin also creates contrast in the woman’s place in society by how she depicts the characters when they’re introduced.
Antisocial Edna While being social and part of a community is incorporated in humanity, it is also enjoyable to spend some alone time away from distractions and reflect. This characteristic can be seen in The Awakening with the main protagonist Edna who gravitates toward privacy. Edna longs to be an independent, strong woman and associates this belief with being alone and on her own. Edna is often involved in activities with others where she chooses to seclude herself from the group. Kate Chopin accentuates this aspect of Edna through her actions, but especially through her relations with Robert.
She is the one female character that challenges the standard of a southern, rural woman. Unlike Cora she isn’t obedient to her husband nor God. She cheated on her husband, Anse, with a minister and isn’t sexually satisfied by Anse. Addie isn’t happy with the traditional way of life of having a husband and kids, “So I took Anse. And when I knew that I had Cash, I knew that living was terrible…” (Faulkner 171).
The world today is filled with people that others want to impress. With the new desire of individuals wishing to feel accepted through unrealistic factors, society often forgets the easiest ways to feel belonged. In Adeline Yen Mah’s “Chinese Cinderella”, young and innocent Adeline goes through a troubled childhood, while trying to be accepted and struggles to find her identity. As Adeline grows, she is able to find her true self and be accepted in society, her family, and herself. However, the difficult journey takes time and Adeline makes sure she learns something from every difficulty in her life.