The Awakening By Kate Chopin

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There are considerable amounts of critical debates regarding the way Kate Chopin ended her novel, The Awakening. One group of commentators say that the main character 's, Edna Pontellier 's, awakening is one of psychological lucidity and that her suicide is an act of success. This meaning that Edna finally frees herself from social restrictions and rules by committing suicide and is thus seen as the greatest feminist. Other commentators, on the other hand, believe that Edna 's development throughout the novel is her character slowly descending into lunacy, and that her act of suicide is one of surrender and “a pathetic defeat that is inconsistent with the depiction of her previous strength and achievements” (242) according to George…show more content…
Chopin asks her reader to believe in an Edna who is completely defeated by the loss of Robert, to believe in the paradox of a woman who has awakened to passional life and yet quietly, almost thoughtlessly, chooses death” (209), I believe the suicide is well thought out.
To begin with, one must understand Edna 's role in society and how the said role contributes to the ending of her life. Chopin had written The Awakening during the 19th century, when patriarchal society existed. According to Wikipedia, patriarchy can be defined as “a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. In the domain of the family, fathers or father—figures hold authority over women and children.” Men have roles that require them to be strong and to provide for their family as the authoritative figure of the household. Women, on the other hand, have roles that require them to do housework, and to take care of their husband 's and children 's needs. Their patriarchal criterions are commonly incorporated within females from their childhood, which makes it difficult for them to have any other roles. However, patriarchal societies may be different from one another depending on their locations. Edna moves to New Orleans from Kentucky where she comes across a different style of interaction than what she is used to; the Creole way of communication is more physical,

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