The Role Of Suicide In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Is suicide ever the answer? Even though suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems, sometimes it’s the only sense of control that a person has left over their own life. The protagonist of Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”, Edna Pontellier, disobeys completely the paradigms that defined her society set in the 19th century. In an era where women were oppressed and expected to give themselves to their families, Edna failed to find a place in that society and escaped by means of suicide. Society is a strong force that molded Edna as a woman, but through her suicide, she was finally able to escape its grasp. She wasn’t wife nor mother material, and as she became conscious of it through the development of the novel, Edna isolated herself so she could be awaken. “I could only see the stretch of grass before me, and I feel as if I must walk on forever, without coming to the end of it” (Chopin 19). Edna is beginning to see her role as a wife and mother as eternal and inescapable. So, at the birth of Adele’s child, she starts to find it quite frightening because at this point Edna is reminded to stay dedicated and devoted to her children. Etienne and Raoul imprisoned her body, they were preventing her from taking her own path and also chained misery to her life. While on the other side, Leonce and the society that revolved around her, functioned as the owners of her soul. Edna loved her children and declared that she would give up almost everything for
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