The Character Of Edna Pontellier In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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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. She had these children with Léonce Pontellier, a forty-year-old, wealthy New Orleans businessman. He wishes Edna to continue the practices expected of New Orleans women, despite her clear distaste to do so. Unlike her friend, Adèle Ratignolle, who is a prime example of a typical Creole woman, Edna does not idolize her children and worship her…show more content…
In this state she acts upon her own desires, sexually and emotionally. She is able to express her true identity and finally finds the courage to make the changes she deems as necessary. Her interactions with Robert and Alcée intensify, which please her sexually and emotionally. She feels no ties with Léonce whatsoever, and does not worry or care too much about him. Edna eventually travels back to Grand Isle’s waters and stands “naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited her.” Her final independent decision is to commit suicide under her own will, displaying her true identity through her own
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