Who Is Edna Pontellier In The Awakening: Symptism

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The intricate character Edna Pontellier in the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a depressed women living in a restrictive time period. Throughout the novel as she begins to realize more and more how limited her life is, she becomes depressed. Her suicide at the end is because she gives up. She gives on attempting to have independence, gives up on the having a relationship with Robert, and gives up on attempting to live in a world that she now sees as a cage. Many would argue that drowning herself could represent a baptism. She is freeing herself from her past life and starting anew by act of independence. They also argue that she breaks off or ends many relationships because she is becoming more independant. Whether or not Chopin wanted people to analyze these like these or not I still believe that Edna’s final act is one of hopelessness and despair.…show more content…
I do agree that those are important details but believe they are symbolic in a different ways and were not suppose to represent a baptism. Casting off “the unpleasant, pricking garments from her” (189) is almost like ridding herself of chains. Throughout the novel it becomes evident that women are heavily restricted by the clothes they wear and because of this Edna’s clothing more represents the society and its restraints. This act I can see as being a small act of independence. As for the water symbolism Edna is simply returning to where she first “awakened” so to speak. Where she first became aware of the restraints in her life. She returns there because it was swimming out so far that she first felt free and joyful by being “daring and reckless.” (47) By returning to the ocean to die she is returning to this “feeling of exultation” (47) because she hasn’t been able to feel it again. The small acts of independence don’t give her the joy like she expected and she loses hope they ever
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