Essay about Kate Chopins' Awakening is Not a Tragedy

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Kate Chopins' Awakening is Not a Tragedy


When we think of a tragedy, thoughts of lost love and torments abound.

The most human of emotions, sorrow, overwhelms us. We agonize over the

tragedy, and the tragic figure. We lose sight of reality, enthralled by

the suspense, captured by the Irony that, "we know" what plight lies ahead

for the characters. We feel the suffering and the helplessness of the

characters as the tragedy unwinds. Although Kate Chopins' The Awakening

is a powerful story, it is by no means a tragedy. The

Awakening does not posses the necessary components of a tragedy. There is

no tragic figure, there is no tragic plot or theme, and the ending is far

from tragic.
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As a result of all this, Edna starts

to yearn for excitement, for adventure, and for an escape. She begins to

see her true self buried beneath the formalities of Creole life, thus she

rebels. Edna becomes enraptured by the search for the most desirable of

human traits, freedom. Edna has no tragic flaw or character trait. On the

contrary, she knows what she wants her life to hold, and she leaps for it.

All of her actions are aimed towards fulfillment of her dream. She wants to

be again as she was as a child, free to wander, free to experiment, and

free to love at will. Edna transforms herself from an obedient housewife,

to a woman who is alive with strength of character and unrepressed emotion.

These are not the actions of a tragic character. Rather, they signify a

character who is in pursuit of happiness. Edna does not have the capability

to be a tragic figure. She is not one who captures the love of the audience.

Her actions actually cause her to be an unlikeable character. For example,

she abandons her children, cheats on her husband, and lives her live in a

selfish, self satisfying manner. Seeing that Edna is the main character,

and the plot revolves around her the fact that she is not tragic removes

the potential for the plot to be somewhat tragic.



Furthermore, The Awakening does not posses the plot or thematic

aspects of a tragedy. The plot of a…