Kate Chopin's Awakening Essay

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Kate Chopin's Awakening

Kate Chopin's depiction of “The Awakening” is realistic as she develops Edna Pontellier’s character from a socially and morally respectable individual to an individual that turns her back on everything closest to her as she births her new self-being. Edna Pontellier struggles between her subconscious and conscious thoughts as unusual feelings stir unfounded emotions and senses. Some of Chopin’s characters lend themselves in Edna’s “awakening”. Through examination of Leonce Pontellier, Robert Lebrun, Madame Moiselle Reisz, Adele Ratignolle, and Alcee Arobin the life of Edna Pontellier turns into her ultimate death. The relationship she has with each one of these characters influences and initiates a lost feeling
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The lack of Leonce’s attention leaves Edna’s vulnerability, as a woman with needs, exposed to the elements. Leonce’s dedication to his business has left his marriage on quicksand. He isn’t aware of any pending danger and doesn’t realize the need of intimacy in their marriage.

He is not given to jealousy even as Rober Lebrun dedicates himself as Edna’s patron. Leonce’s lack of affection and his accusations of Edna not minding the children properly adds one more stepping stone toward her awakening. Though Mr. Pontellier might have been somewhat accurate, Chopin reveals, “Edna loved her children in an unorthodox manner and only longed for them every once in a while. They were easily remembered and forgot with no conscious thought of ineptness. When they were away for the previous summer at their father’s mother’s place in Iberville, Edna knew they were in good hands. At ease with their safety she did not miss them. On occasion she longed for them immensely, but their absence was a comfort to her though her subconscious would not let her conscious confirm it” (33). Leonce’s constant absence for long periods of time was nothing unusual and accepted with little grievance. The children’s absence during the summer was of the same degree. Edna had no real physical, intimate, or emotionally touching relationship until Robert Lebrun came into her life.

Robert Lebrun