Essay on The Awakening

1610 Words Jun 21st, 2018 7 Pages
In their analytical papers on The Awakening by Kate Chopin, both Elaine Showalter and Elizabeth Le Blanc speak to the importance of homosocial relationship to Edna’s awakenings. They also share the viewpoint that Edna’s return to the sea in the final scene of the book represents Edna being one with her female lover and finding the fulfillment she has been seeking. We see evidence of this idea of the sea as a feminine from Showalter when she tells us that “As the female body is prone to wetness, blood, milk, tears and amniotic fluid, so in drowning the woman is immersed in feminine organic element. Drowning thus becomes the traditionally feminine literary death”. (Showalter 219) LeBlanc takes this idea even further. She tells us that “The …show more content…
A woman in this time living the life style of Mademoiselle would quite possibly have been thought of as a lesbian. We are also aware of the fact that through Mademoiselle Reisz’s music, Edna finds passion within herself that she could not access through any other avenue. I believe that Showalter has shown us that Edna’s awakenings were aided by these two women who meant so much to her; Adele as the mother-woman and Mademoiselle Reisz as the artist who helps her to access the passion within. Showalter concludes that as these awakenings progress, Edna, not fitting into either lifestyle totally, becomes a solitary being who in the ends seeks love and passion from the sea, a female lover. LeBlanc takes not just a feminist approach in her analysis, but a Lesbian approach as well. Le Blanc tells us that “The true power of the novel cannot be fully realized unless it is read not only as a feminist text, but also as a lesbian text”. (LeBlanc 237) She feels that one possible solution for Edna in her search for her own individual identity would be to adapt the identity of a lesbian. LeBlanc tells us of the existence of metaphorical lesbians—“a provocative controlling concept to describe a character who is not “really” a lesbian but could be, who engages in a variety of woman-identified practices that suggest but stop short of sexual intercourse”. (LeBlanc 238) She continues telling us that “Edna illustrates—within the specific historical context

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