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The Awakening: A Battle of Individuality vs. Conformity - Research Paper Example

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This paper "The Awakening: A Battle of Individuality vs. Conformity" discusses the novel “The Awakening” authored by the famous Kate Chopin that is based on a battle of individuality vs. conformity. More than anything else, this novel seeks to portray this battle…
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The Awakening: A Battle of Individuality vs. Conformity
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Download file to see previous pages The following discussion will include evidence from the text also to prove the horrors of this battle which are encountered by Edna. The Awakening is not just another story of a woman’s struggle. Rather, it is the story of troublesome consequences born for a woman when she is courageous enough to choose individuality over conformity. This is not just one woman’s struggle, rather women everywhere even today are seen engaged in this battle. This means that the message of Chopin’s novel is relevant even today and has not lost its significance.

In the novel, we see Edna frenetically struggling to break herself free from social tangles by rebelling against them. She is trying so hard because she wants to realize her real potential. Chopin writes, “Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being” (33). This suggests that Edna or Mrs. Pontellier is perfectly aware that her real potential cannot be executed in the domestic world of her peers. So, she puts her individual potential above everything else. Edna’s journey through the battle of individuality vs. conformity is unique, riveting, and refreshing. This is because it has the potential to offer the readers, particularly women, great insight into the inner life of a struggling human being. This is the reason why this novel attracted so much criticism when it was first published in 1899 (Corse and Westervelt 139). It told the story of a woman who blatantly refused the societal ideals and openly engaged in a battle of individuality vs. conformity (Jen). The battle which Edna takes on in the novel is not an easy one. Rather, it is riddled with myriad powerful examples of both the most basic and the most arduous life experiences. Chopin’s discussion of societal oppression of women through the character of Edna is flawless and people from all backgrounds can relate to that effortlessly. The fight Edna engages in makes her a very real woman to the readers. She is more real than fictitious because so many women can relate to her battle. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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