Often times, literary works can easily distinguish between a good character or an evil character. Other times, a character can be very complex, which makes it difficult to characterize the character as good or evil. This complex character complex is known as Moral Ambiguity. In other words, readers are discouraged from identifying a character as purely good or evil. One particular character that can be views as morally ambiguous is a woman named Edna Pontellier. Edna from Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” can be perceived as morally ambiguous because of her affiliations with other men, and role-defying actions; however, both contribute to “The Awakening” as a whole.
Often times when a person is forced to outwardly conform while questioning themselves it leads to a struggle between their inner selves and what is expected of them. Outward conformity often oppresses a character’s true feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, leads a dissatisfactory life. She is stuck in a loveless marriage, and has children, all in an attempt to conform to the social norm of the Victorian woman. However, she inwardly questions whether or not she should try to break free from this life to find her own independence and happiness. Edna continually questions whether or not she is destined to live a life of subordination or if she can find her own freedom. Edna Pontellier’s defiant nature is brought out
In nineteenth century Louisiana, Creole’s lived by strict rules to explain how Creole household’s run: “The man ruled his household and his wife was considered part of his property. He was permitted to take a[nother] mistress if he liked, though his wife was expected to remain faithful” (Kosewick 3). The wives of the household are also “expected to be of good character” and “loyal, passive, innocent lovers”, despite the fact that their husband can take another woman of his liking out and the wife sat back and watched her husband have a plentiful time with the other woman (Kosewick 3). If the wife of the household does anything outside of the norms within their Creole society, she was frowned upon and disgraced. Rarely, women rebelled against
A modern woman emerging and developing ahead of her time, dealing with the challenges of gaining independence in a time period where woman weren’t human. This is Edna Pontellier’s conflict told in the novel the Awakening by Kate Chopin. Late in her already establish life Edna a wife and mother of two discovers herself to realize she goes against society’s ideals as a woman. Never truly attempting to fit into the “woman” role Edna finds herself stepping out of her cage through self-discovery. Author Kate Chopin creates and utilizes symbols and motifs to develop the multiple cognizances Edna undergoes. Edna deals with the repercussions of a society that isn’t as accustoms to a woman being
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.
As people grow old they tend to realize the mistakes they have made in life and try to make up for them. These realizations are mostly internal; however, there could be some external manifestations. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin shows how Edna has a realization that having a family is not what she wanted in life. Chopin is able to create a feeling of suspense and excitement through this event by illustrating Edna’s inner thoughts, including her past, the way she starts to act towards others and demonstrating the steps she takes towards freeing herself up.
For many years, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was considered perhaps one of the most scandalous novels written by a woman about a woman’s sexual and spiritual liberation and independence. Much of Chopin’s fiction has been praised as a celebration of female sexuality, conspicuously highlighting the tension between erotic desire and the demands that come from marriage, family life, and society (Martin 1). Unlike other literary contemporaries, Chopin does not attempt to moralize her heroines’ moral frailty, and more importantly she unapologetically allows her heroines’ unconventional sexuality to thrive (Martin 6). Only recently has The Awakening been acknowledged as a well-crafted narrative of Edna Pontellier’s struggle between individuality and
Daisy becomes increasingly emotionally torn as her affair with Gatsby continues. She becomes stressed with Gatsby and his expectations for her. Gatsby desires the old Daisy that he first fell madly in love with. She feels pressure as Gatsby’s affections turn into almost worship of her. Soon she begins to realize that what they had in the past was precious, but she realizes she still loves Tom. For example, in the Great Gatsby Daisy states, "They're such beautiful shirts," she sobbed, her voice muffled in the think folds. "It makes me sad because I've never seen such – such beautiful shirts before" (Fitzgerald 118-119). Daisy knows that Gatsby was a bootlegger and he lived by criminal activity. Gatsby’s true nature was uncovered. It was his
While being a woman in modern times is difficult enough with all of our adversities, one can truly appreciate the strength of a woman in 1899. The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a short intimate novel about a woman named Edna who slowly registered her individuality. In the beginning of the novel Edna was glimpsed as a woman of her time, maintaining the societal appearance with her husband and children. However, later on in the novel she surpassed her time by defying the norm and taking the “unknown road” toward independence as a result of her awakenings. The course of Edna’s awakenings was very emotional, unexpected and unfamiliar.
The Awakening showcases Edna Pontellier, a housewife residing in New Orleans, Louisiana during the early 1900s. Edna Pontellier is married to Leonce Pontellier and they have two sons together. Edna is consumed in internal conflicts throughout the entire novel. She is trying to find herself in a society where she has many duties and responsibilities.
Politics and literature are far from strange bedfellows. Social commentary and allegory have been tools in the literary toolbox since Ancient Greece, with Plato’s Allegory of The Cave being one of the earliest forms of the device. Science fiction is an entire genre that, at least to a degree, is based upon the premise of looking at the problems of today through the eyes of tomorrow. Oftentime, authors seek to tackle the issues of their time within their writing, and Kate Chopin was no different when she published her final work The Awakening in 1899.
The reader is introduced to the concept of identity in ‘The Awakening’ almost immediately. Within the first few pages of the novel, the use of the narrator creates a patriarchal sense of social identities (Ramos 147). 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
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.
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.