Edna, The Main Character In "The Awakening" By Kate Chopin

689 words - 3 pages

This is a look at 'The Awakening' by Kate Chopin. Whenyou first look at the life of Edna you think there is not much todiscuss. Edna is a married woman who at first seems vaguelysatisfied with her life--'she grew fond of her husband, realizingwith some unaccountable satisfaction that no trace of passion orexcessive and fictitious warmth colored her affection, therebythreatening its dissolution.' (Chopin, 558).Edna doesn't know what she wants from life. It is evidentfrom the way she tries to change her life to make it better, thatshe wants her own happiness. She refuses to stay home onTuesdays, which she is expected to do to satisfy the socialconventions of the time. She spends more time on her ...view middle of the document...

(Chopin, 588)Edna struggled to make her life more fulfilling. Ednawanted what? Passion, excitement? She states to the Doctor,'But I don't want anything but my own way. That is wanting agood deal, of course, when you have to trample upon the lives,the hearts, the prejudices of others--but no matter--still, Ishouldn't want to trample upon the little lives.' (Chopin, 629).In the title of 'The Awakening' I get the impression ofsomeone waking up and deciding that their life is not what theywant. Edna goes from being reasonably happy in her life to veryunhappy with her life and tries to change it to make it better.The ways she goes about it are not necessarily the right ways,but at least she tries to change it to make it better.The acceptable behaviors of the time in which she livedworked against her. Edna stays married because divorce wasunheard of in those days. She wants to marry Robert, but he willnot because it will disgrace her to leave her husband. Sheexceeds the social boundaries of the day by going her own wayand doing what she wants, but she is still bound by the will ofothers no matter what she wants. In the time period we aretalking about she would have been ostracized by society if sheand Robert were to be together. The only solution she sees is tocommit suicide. That would not happen in this day and timeeither, because she would have been able to get a divorce andmarry Robert with no special stigma. Edna could not get whatshe thought she wanted and ended up with no responsibilities.

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