The reader thinks Edna might just be frustrated with her husband. As the novel shifts to New Orleans, it is clear that she has changed. Edna starts to feel motivated to take action. Finally the setting comes back to Grand Isle, and it is the climax of Edna’s awakening. It is also where she drowns herself. Nobody know for sure whether it was intentional or not since Chopin said, “Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life—that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions”(Chopin 58).
The ending of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is both controversial and thought provoking. Many see Edna Pontellier’s suicide as the final stage of her “awakening”, and the only way that she will ever be able to truly be free. Edna’s suicide, however, is nothing more than her final attempt to escape from her life. Edna Pontellier’s life has become too much for her to handle, and by committing suicide she is simply escaping the oppression she feels from her marriage, the suppression she feels from her children, and the failure of her relationship with Robert.
This is the point in the story where Edna starts listening to her voices inside her gives into her inner desires. She continues to struggle with the fact that she married out of convenience and she has two sons that she really does not want to mother as well as the fact that she loves being an artist. In chapter x, Edna goes to the sea only to realize that all her swimming lesson had finally paid off that summer and she was swimming. Chopin describes this even like a baby finally getting enough confidence to walk and the baby walks realizing its own strength and power. While swimming, she soon gets tired and has quick feeling overcome her of the possibility of drowning but quickly swims back to shore. She has conquered her greatest fear and now feels like a new woman that is no longer afraid of her true feelings. Edna’s affair with Robert continues and he eventually leaves Grand Isle and her and her family returns home.
Over the course of time the male species has always been the gender to attain the more favorable conditions. Numerous cultures heed to the belief that the man is the provider and head of his family. This machismo nature can condition the mind to believe that a man should feel superior to a woman. The continuous cycle of male superiority flows down from father to son subconsciously. Do to this unceasing sequence of behavior women fall subject to repression and control at the hands of mentally undeveloped men. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, illustrated this particular topic in a way that not only appealed to the readers’ sense of pathos but, the readers’ likeliness to be able to relate to the aforementioned as well. Chopin stylistically renders the struggle of the protagonist Edna Pontellier, a strong willed woman who finds herself imprisoned to the concept of trans-temporal existence, as she seeks refuge to her true being, Edna experiments relationships with multiple men that unintentionally repress her existence. Between Leonce Pontellier, Robert Lebrun, Alcee Arobin and The Colonel effect of Edna’s life they catalyze her awakening and ultimately lead her suicide.
Edna Pontellier's suicide is the unfortunate pit falling of this otherwise feminist piece of literature. Her action, in fact, completely discredits the classification of feminism. Regardless of her ability to withdraw from her husband, venture out on her own, and buy her own home, Edna lacks a very
Through the story Edna becomes more and more uneasy about not being able to do and have what she really wants. This can be shown from the beginning when she lets her children play by themselves and doesn’t miss her husband when he is away from home. Edna tried to be a good mother by becoming friends with an old fashioned woman, Madame Adèle Ratignolle, who devoted her life to her husband and children. However, when Edna was not around Madame Adèle Ratignolle, she forgot how to be like Adèle Ratignolle and instead busied herself with what was considered to be her “childish ways”. She would try to make herself as happy as possible; she was not her happiest with her husband and kids. When Edna discovered her passion for art, she embraced it and neglected her family even more so than before.
Edna’s suicide was victory of self-expression. Edna undergoes a gradual awakening process in which portrays not to only her newly established independence from the constraints of her husband, but also her ability to go against the social norms of society in order to individually express herself. Her suicide encompases the question and critique of living life through the perspective of society such as being responsible for taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, and entertaining any guests that the husband may have over anytime. In the first couple of capters, the novel is quick to emphasize the gerneralized roles kthat are placed onto females, making it apparent that fe,ales are expected to successfully fulfil these roles. For example, Leonce enters home after being out and stated one of the kids had a fever. Edna was certain the child had no fever but Leonce belittles her capability as a mother for indifference with him. “If it was not a mother’s place to look after the children, whose on earth was it?” (27capac).
Many times however, her rebellion is seen as selfish childishness to others. Breaking the rules and finding her true happiness is what awakens Edna Pontellier and makes her different from the rest. She rebels against society by thinking differently, finding independence, doing what she wants without obeying her husband, moving out to her new "pigeon-house", and taking part in two adulterous affairs. Her climatic finale, her suicide, is her ultimate act of rebellion, not giving the ways of the world, her decision to finally be free. ‘‘She went on and on. She remembered the night she swam far out, and recalled the terror that seized her at the fear of being unable to regain the shore. She did not look back now, but went on and on, thinking of the blue-grass meadow that she had traversed when a little child, believing that it had no beginning and no end.’’ (Chopin, 120) All her rebellious actions are what make Edna such a controversial, yet influential woman till this
The Awakening by Kate Chopin introduces the reader to the life of Edna Pontellier, a woman with an independent nature searching for her true identity in a patriarchal society that expects women to be nothing more than devoted wives and nurturing mothers.
Edna Pontellier as a character is an Interesting topic amongst scholars who have read The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The topic of her suicide is the focal point of such discussion. Weather it was an act of heroism, or the downfall of an already pitiful woman. While it may be easy to characterize suicide as a “coward's” death it's not good to be so hasty. Looking at Edna as a character one can see a woman who is clearly more progressive than the time she was in. Edna had always been on a different wavelength than her peers. One that means she was different, unpredictable, and outcast. However this isn't the case, Edna should be praised for her courage and heroism towards the
She raises her children with a distance between them. This void shows Edna’s lack of open wings, which is considered the norm of the 19th century expectations of women. Her newfound acceptance of neglecting her maternal responsibly ignited a much larger awakening within her. A sense of individuality and the “…realiz[ation of] her position in the universe as a human being, and ... her relations as an individual to the world within and about her” grew stronger (Chopin 15). She dislikes her role being entirely centered on domestic responsibilities so she begins to stretch the bindings of society.
In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, the constant boundaries and restrictions placed on Edna Pontellier by society will lead to her struggle for freedom and her ultimate suicide. Her husband Leonce Pontellier, the current women of society, and the Grand Isle make it evident that Edna is trapped in a patriarchal society. Despite these people, Edna has a need to be free and she is able to escape from the society that she despises. The sea, Robert Lebrun, and Mademoiselle Reisz serve as Edna’s outlets from conformity. “Edna's journey for personal independence involves finding the words to express herself. She commits suicide rather than sacrificing her independent,
Edna committed suicide because there was no other way out. She did not fit into society. Her thoughts and emotions were not the same as the thoughts and emotions of the other women of this time. Edna committed suicide so that she could be reborn in
From even the first few chapters of the novel it is evident that Edna is becoming aware of her concealed wants and desires as she begins to distance herself from the society that she considers herself to be an outsider in. While walking in town Edna