The Role Of Repression In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is a progressive novel which defines the individual struggles faced during a transitional period in American history and culture. The Awakening showcases the fallacies regarding the confinement and traditionalistic repression that women during the 19th century were subject to by showcasing the complex struggles and unrest that the main character, Edna, faces with daily. It is evident that during this time period women had the choice to either fit the mold of the mother figure, in which women were expected to wholeheartedly give themselves up to satisfy the needs of their husband and children, or be shunned by the patriarchal society. Throughout the novel, Edna begins to deviate from the traditional lifestyle that was slowly deteriorating her, and experiments with personal indulgence and freedom from the tethers of motherhood. The wonders of self-fulfillment, infatuation, and art are sensuous to her, but soon…show more content…
Prior to their meeting, Edna’s expectations take hold of her thoughts and she constantly plays out situations in her head especially her inevitable meeting with Robert in which she plays out “a hundred times” (Chopin 163), all of which imagine Robert “expressing or betraying his love for her” (Chopin 162). The sheer obsession with the scenario makes the actual interaction that much more disappointing as she learns that Robert did not even have the drive to immediately visit, like her reveries had anticipated. Her frustration at this outcome in shown in her repetition of Robert’s response of “day before yesterday” (Chopin 162) as if she is in disbelief. Anxiety begins to overcome her as she starts to parallel Roberts’s unease by crushing the geranium leaves, but her worry is much different than his as she starts to realize that her dreamlike expectations of the world may not be
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