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What Makes Edna's True Desires In The Awakening

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Edna constantly struggles to realize her true desires and to understand her inner emotions and personal preferences. Part of her is always trying to establish a new outer persona while also trying to determine what she wants on the inside. She has an inner conflict between loving her family and showing compassion for them, or facing her honest yearning for a different lifestyle, breaking away from the expectations and standards of society. In the end, this internal argument causes her to fully realize that in her time period, what she truly wants is unattainable, especially after dealing with rejection from Robert and disappointment in her marriage. Overall, Mrs. Pontellier is trying to be herself in a world where a pre-existing set of rules already determine who she…show more content…
Edna is completely enthralled in the water at this point: “The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation” (Chopin 18). This line envelops her entire life; she cannot bare to live any longer, so she takes the next step, she takes the plunge. In the end of the book, she repeats a line she said directly following the previous quote, “The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace” (Chopin 18, 156). This repetition shows that everything she experienced in life did not live up to what she wanted. Her presumed suicide defines an actual awakening in her character. It shows that nothing, not even the laws of nature, can dictate her life and how she chooses to live it. The abstract standards set by late nineteenth century cannot control her or anything that she does. However, no matter what her choices, she still cannot live in a world with these social expectations. She rebelled and chose the only option she could: she accepted her
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