Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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In Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”, longing for passion and freedom Edna Pontellier leaves the safety of her gilded cage, only to find that death is her only salvation. In the 1800’s the main role in society for a female was to be a wife and mother, women at this time were the property of their husbands and had little say in anything. Which for Edna was the opposite of what she wanted, she wanted to be free from these responsibilities and to live her own life. Although Edna is not a victim in the role society has chosen for her, she freely walked into her gilded cage and into the role of wife to Leonce Pontellier and mother to their children. The longer she stayed in her marriage, the more she realizes that the passion she needed was not…show more content…
She is not bound to a husband and children, free to do as she pleases. Mademoiselle Reisz embodies everything Edna dreams of; her music inspires Edna to become passionate about her painting and her life. In the music, Edna feels the emotion she wants to put on canvas and thus begins her steps away from the gilded cage that has imprisoned her. As her passion comes to life in painting, so does the passion she feels for Robert, which causes Robert to leave the island and leave Edna. Edna’s passion for Robert does not waiver and she pines quietly for him in her heart. After that summer, the family returns to New Orleans and Edna decides to cancel all her social engagements and starts living for herself. During this time, Leonce is away for business and the children are away at their grandmother’s house, leaving Edna alone to her own devices. This gives her a great sense of freedom, she pursues her painting and then one fateful day decides to visit Mademoiselle Reisz. Edna discovers that Robert has been writing Mademoiselle Reisz often and Edna ask to read the letters. Reading the letter from Robert and finding out that he loves her, give Edna the strength to make her final move in the struggle for her freedom. She moves out of Leonce’s house and into a small house, she renames pigeon house. It is at pigeon house that Edna truly becomes free
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