Edna's Role In The Awakening

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Of husband and wife, brother and sister, friend and friend, or any other relationship that is formed in one's life, the bond between mother and child is the strongest. Throughout The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, Edna's children, by their very existence, serve as chains that keep her from pursuing her own goals and desires, as she is bound to them by her motherly duties. Edna's feelings of bondage by her children force her to remove herself from an innately meaningful relationship, in an attempt to elsewhere find meaning. This backwards mindset leads to Edna's eventual downfall, where, even then, she could not understand what she let go. Her stagnant thinking throughout the book reveals that she never had an "awakening", and she was doomed to…show more content…
She simultaneously loves and resents her children because, while she is their mother, she feels that they have taken away her freedom and self-purpose. As Edna journeys in her awakening, she strives to find meaning for herself as Edna, not her children's mother. To prove she is more than just a mother, she distances herself from normal motherly responsibilities. “He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it?”(Chopin, 15) Edna's neglect of her children stems from others expectations for her to submit to and look after her…show more content…
The two kids never did anything against their mother, but she holds are grudge that stands firm while she drowns. In an essay, Suzanne Green describes Edna's state of mind at the end of the novel as, "incensed that her husband and children presumed that they could “drag her into the soul's slavery for the rest of her days."".(Green) Green writes that Edna is "incensed" with her children, and quotes that Edna believed the kids were holding her soul as a slave. Edna was doomed to unhappiness from the beginning of her children's lives because of these thoughts. She holds an intense anger for the children and is convinced that they were keeping her in bondage and wasting her life. When a mother feels as though she is slaves to her husband and children, it is impossible for her to fell happy. However, Edna faces no harsh work, her husband is a wealthy man and buys her nice things, and she lives, and while her life is not one without any problems, it does not have any significant obstacles. This look into Edna's lifestyle asks the questions, How could Edna be unhappy with such a
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