The Role Of Individuality In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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The Awakening is a novel written by Kate Chopin that follows a woman named Edna Pontellier on her journey to self-awareness. Edna lived a comfortable lifestyle with her husband and two children in Louisiana during the 19th century. Despite obtaining all aspects to a perfect life, Edna became dissatisfied after meeting Robert Lebrun in Grand Isle. Robert sparked a desire for unlawful lust as well as a yearning for independence in a society full of conformed standards. Edna was unable to handle the pressures associated with achieving personal freedom which ultimately led to her death. Through Enda’s transformation, Chopin poses a question to the reader: Can one express complete individuality in a married relationship? Leonce Pontellier’s authority…show more content…
Throughout the novel Edna imagined this perfect life with Robert filled with impetuous passion. Though Robert loved Edna, he decided to leave for Mexico to avoid a morally wrong relationship with her. Even after returning to Louisiana, Robert abandons Edna a second time only leaving a note stating “I love you. Good-by—because I love you” (Chopin 198). The reality of Edna’s relationship with Robert would never meet her expectations due to her legal connection to Leonce. Edna’s marriage withheld certain values that Robert was not willing rebel against. This indicates that no matter how close Edna was to expressing her individuality just the concept of her marriage repelled some desires. A married relationship consists of two people agreeing to uphold to certain obligations. Although some individuals strive for complete freedom in a marriage, one cannot live off of freedom alone. Too much self-expression can cause unnecessary tension both physically and mentally. Individuals must learn to show some personal character but also abide by moral standards. This will allow one to live a balanced life between individuality and
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