￼Lisa Cifuentes 5th Pd. AP English IV Mrs. Zimmerman 4 December 2015 Edna Pontellier’s Awakening In “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, the title holds great significance, symbolically describing the transformation that Edna Pontellier undergoes as she realizes that the conventions of her society have been constraining her from becoming her true, independent self. Edna’s awareness of her duality of self, her private emotional life, and the loneliness that accompanies her newfound freedom are all clear evidence that she truly becomes enlightened and revived by the end of the novel. The inability of the other characters in this novel to hinder Edna’s transformation is a reflection of society’s complete powerlessness against the inner flame of emotion
It is common for people in everyday society to conform to society’s expectations while also questioning their true desires. In the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, the main protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess, "That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions." In other words, Edna outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Kate Chopin, uses this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning to build the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period. Edna outwardly conforms to society’s expectations by marriage.
In Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” shows a controversial protagonist, Edna Pontellier. The character in the novel showed different expectations for women and their supposed roles. One literary critic, Megan Kaplon showed how this novel can be viewed as a struggle of the world or society around her. Edna in the story is trying to find freedom and individuality Kaplon mentions that “one of her most shocking actions was her denial of her role as a mother and wife.”
In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, we are introduced to a woman named Edna Pontellier. She is a wife, a mother, and a homemaker who struggles to fit in the ideal “Victorian woman” mold. The expectations of women during the Victorian era was for women to be devoted to her husband, children and her home and it was frowned if a woman were to devote some time for the benefit of herself. The women were like caged birds; unable to use her wings for flight. Throughout the novel, Edna’s dissatisfaction with her life becomes apparent and we see Edna’s journey to independence and self-discovery.
In the 1800’s, the societal niche of married women was clearly defined: they were meant to devote every aspect of their lives to their husbands and children. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, struggles to adhere to these standards, and eventually rebels against them. The harsh standards placed on Edna and other women in the novel are like the cages around the metaphorical birds Chopin uses to represent them. Edna's unhappiness in her societal role is realized in the ocean, which symbolizes this awakening and her attempt to escape the gender roles of the nineteenth century.
The beginning of the feminist movement in the 1900’s, sparked much attention from those who lived at this time. The changes in attitude brought forth from the feminist movement made many men feel threatened and uncomfortable. In 1899, Kate Chopin published the feminist novel, The Awakening, which created much controversy. The protagonist of the story, Edna Pontellier, emerges from her own “awakening,” and gains her own independence from breaking away from society. However, her struggle with herself and society overtakes her and Edna’s sudden awakening ends in tragedy.
Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, is a story about a protagonist named Edna Pontellier. Throughout the novel, Edna is striving for some form of independence. However, she had no way to obtain it as she felt trapped by her marriage. Eventually, Edna was finally “awakened” and started to act on her discovery of her true-self. This true-self was one that did not live vicariously through her kids or her husband.
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is a piece of fiction written in the nineteenth century. The protagonist Edna is a controversial character, Edna rebels against many nineteenth - century traditions, but her close friend Adele was a perfect example in terms of a role of a woman, mother and wife at that time. Chopin uses contrast characters to highlight the difference between Adele and Edna. Although they are both married women in the nineteenth century, they also exhibit many different views about what a mother role should be.
These self-awakenings Edna Pontellier experiences adds suspense and excitement to the novella because her new identity is more scandalous and out-of-the-norm for women living in the late 19th century. The internal conflict Chopin creates for Edna Pontellier through her multiple awakenings is what adds to the suspense, excitement, and climax in The Awakening. Chopin adds to the climax of the novella by showing how unhappy
This socially constructed identity is the first of the many that Edna grapples with in the text. It is the identity of women within the time period of the text. In the words of Dix, Edna’s identity is meant to be that of a typical American wife who will control the home, children and entertain socially yet remain obedient to her working husband (146). ‘Looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property’ (Chopin 4). The
In addition, the search for self-identity is viewed as important in today’s society. Thus, these confliction attributes lead the reader to identify Edna as morally ambiguous. Categorizing complex characters as purely good or purely evil is not one of the easiest of tasks. As a result, it is best to characterize them as morally ambiguous. In Edna’s case, she is morally ambiguous due to her romantic affiliations and role-defying actions, but both are immensely vital to Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” as a complete whole.
Her frequent vacations to the island, like her frequent dips into the ocean, begin to spark a personal change within the woman. A Creole man, Robert, shows Edna a new dimension of feelings she never knew she lived without, and she begins to look through life through a new lens. Having been awakened for the first time, she sees injustice and mistreatment where she saw none before. Chopin uses Edna’s new observations and reactions to the culture around her to illustrate the myriad ways women were marginalized. In an ironic twist, the white woman from Kentucky proves to be more liberated than her more traditional husband, who grew up
The time period’s expectations prove to serve as the first influencing factor which strains Edna’s mentality concerning her freedom. Additionally, this use of societal expectation by Chopin proves to illuminate the overall meaning of her novel. By providing social impact as the driving force of her character’s conflict, Chopin provides commentary on the overbearing social expectations attached to women in both past and present times. The use of society’s influence as a primary conflict serves as a means of providing social commentary and questioning to both the modern and contemporary social standings of women and people as a whole. Chopin uses the struggles and opinions of her main character as a means of illustrating society’s forceful impact in a negative
A woman with an independent nature can be described as rebellious, passionate, and courageous. In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, the reader is introduced to Edna Pontellier, a female who epitomizes the qualities of a woman with such an independent nature. Living in a “patriarchal society” that expects women to be nothing more than devoted wives and nurturing mothers, Edna attempts to seek out her true identity as it becomes apparent how unsettled she feels about her life. Throughout The Awakening, Edna Pontellier, dissatisfied with her duties as a mother and wife, decides to pursue her own interests and express her true identity, resulting in an awakening and her finding the courage to make the changes she deems as necessary. Edna Pontellier had two young boys, Etienne and Raoul, who were ages four and five, respectively.
Albert D. Saba Mr. Amoroso AP Literature Period: 3AP Topic: 1 LAP The Awakening A novel by Kate Chopin Will the chains and the unspoken pain unshackle through one’s heroic individualism? In the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier becomes a heroic figure to herself as well as for women through the search of her self-identity.