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In this paper, the awakening of Edna a character in the novel is explored.
Edna Pontelliers experience can be viewed from two perspectives, and it is upon the reader to choose how to perceive this controversial character. The protagonist Ednas struggle to change well-defined societal and natural roles of motherhood with no support from fellow women makes her give up the fight and result to committing suicide. To some extent her resolution to go against societal expectations of women can be positively seen as a way of delivering women from chauvinist men and patriarchal society. On the other hand, it can be seen as negative because the denial of her status of a mother and wife is unnatural (Killen 10).
Edna is opposed to the natural and societal structures of motherhood that compel her to be defined as wife of Leonce Pontellier and mother of Etienne and Raoul rather than being her own self-defined individual. Her behavior upsets many nineteenth-century expectations for women and their set roles. Her character is contrasted with that of Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz as models. In contrast, Edna views their lives as lacking freedom and individuality that she desires (Lattin 32).
In Edna Pontellier’s world women can choose either be defined by men or live a life detached from the rest of the society. “Women become either wives and mothers. . . or exiles” (Papke 39). Adele is the perfect example of a male-defined wife and mother. A mother-woman is portrayed as a woman who idolizes her children and worshipped their husbands” (Chopin 10). Being a talented pianist even the very act of music creation is done for the sake of her children. “She reported that she was keeping up her music for the sake of her children, considering it a way of brightening their home and making it attractive” (Chopin 27).According to Edna, the life of the mother-woman does not satisfy her longing for an existence devoid of definition. “A
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(Kate Chopin: The Awakening Analysis Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
“Kate Chopin: The Awakening Analysis Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1653385-kate-chopin-the-awakening-analysis.
Women are supposed to be obedient to their husbands and dedicated to their children without caring about their own personal interests and activities. The story shows how different happenings ‘awaken’ Edna’s dormant traits. Along with the other awakenings, Edna’s desire for freedom is awakened which makes the greatest impact on her character.
Her age is around 28 years and she is spending her vacations with her family at Grand Isle. The main point of this story is the change in the feelings of Edna. She begins to realize that her role in the society is not just restricted to her home and family.
Individuals often encounter frustration as they cannot always make the society satisfied. Societies on the other hand cannot accommodate certain individuals as their nature and behavior are against the common norms of the society. Literary works involve characters who do not fit in the society.
In this short story based on five-parts, the narrative structure of the plot permits Chopin to portray varying viewpoints on particular circumstances as a way of signifying that “actuality” is, at best, comparative. The situation is easy and simple enough: the husband of Calixta, Bobinot, and her son, Bibi, are in city when a storm strikes.
When the novel first appeared, Kate Chopin was criticized by the society for illustrating a sexual, independent woman who breaks away from the strict southern patriarchy hierarchy. In the novel, the main character Edna commits suicide as the final resort to break free from the oppression of the Victorian society.
One of the famous novels by Kate is “The Awakening”. She write for every type of crowd and both children and adults enjoyed her creative skill in writing. However, her work was more appreciated after her death in 1904.Her stories and novels were published in well known magazines of America and readers were fond of her writings .Her counterparts in 1915 remarked that Chopin’s work was the best when compared to other writers of France or America.
The cultural, social, and scientific life of the society was undergoing radical alterations. For instance Darwin's theories of evolution and natural selection had questioned the established views regarding humankind's origins; restoration and urbanization of the society following the Civil War brought women and men into a new social identity; and, obviously most importantly, the women's rights movement had been gaining strength since 1848, when the first conference of woman's rights was held in New York in Seneca Fall.
The open discussion of emotional and sexual needs of women in the novel had a shocking impact on the readers of her time and was eventually not received well. But after some fifty years, people began to view the novel in a new angle accepting the notions of female sexuality and equality thus promoting the work as a classic.
Aurelie isn’t the epitome of feminism and she had let her male characteristics eclipse her femininity. She did not seem to possess maternal instincts and was not very forthcoming when she had to care for her neighbor’s children. She did not believe, like other women her age, that children were a blessing from God
Edna Pontellier’s achievement of independence is accompanied with solitude. The traditions of the 18th century limited women’s self-expression and independence (43). Women were expected to dispense their
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