Edna Pontellier Rejects Her Woman/Mother Image in "The Awakening"

1069 Words Jun 18th, 2018 5 Pages
A bird view of the historical context of "The Awakening" gives me ample evidence to reinstate the thesis statement: Edna Pontellelier does not reject her children; she neglects only her women/mother image. The novel "The Awakening" was written at the end of the nineteenth century which was fundamentally characterized by change. A wide spectrum of disciplines and structures were facing created tensions between old and new. It was the time of industrialization, urbanization which contributed lots of impetus for socio-politico- and cultural change. It was a time of transition provided by emerging trends like Darwin's theory of evolution, the Higher Criticism of the Bible, continuing movement's in women suffrage. All these …show more content…
In the Novel, she is neither portrayed as flawless heroine nor as a fallen woman. Her rebellious nature seemed to have been a byproduct of her self-centred nature which manifests in the actualization of her whims and fancies (Kelly, 2001).

Finally, her decision to commit suicide can also be interpreted in several ways which come to my assistance to reaffirm the thesis statement that Edna does not reject her children but rejects her mother image. Her decision to commit suicide can be an act of cowardice, because, she finds herself all alone opposed in every way not to be what she wants to be. This proves that she hates the society that binds her in an unrealistic world that does not befit her nature. She does not want to be confined to the society and that she sees death as an escape from the society which is accompanied by the repercussion that she has to leave her children too (The Awakening: Themes, Motifs, & Symbols, n.d.).

Another interpretation that strengthens my argument is that she loves the reputation of her sons. She knows that she cannot live a life confined to the society, and she knows that her passion for sexual gratification, art and freedom would certainly lead her away from the family, which might adversely affect her children (The Awakening, n.d.). Therefore, for the benefit of her children, she willingly embraces death as an opportunity to save the reputation of her sons. This is
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