Some critics view Edna’s suicide at the end of the novel as a failure to complete her escape from convention—an inability to defy society once stripped of the motivation of a man by her side. Others view her suicide as a final awakening, a decision to give herself to the sea in a show of strength and independence that defies social expectation. Which interpretation do you find more compelling, and why?
According to the novel the great thing is that, both of the interpretations are arguable and interesting. However,we have to decide for ourself what we think as well as Chopin was trying to say about Edna's actions in the end of the novel. So the question comes, what Edna did is that failure to complete her escape from convention or was the right choice?
Firslty,I am inclined to look at Edna's suicide as a final choice to be completely free of the weight of societal expectations in this society. Just as Reisz warned her earlier in the novel, she would have to have strong to "fly above" society's norms. It is fitting that Edna sees the bird with a broken wings as she swims out to sea. Perhaps she recognizes that she is broken and doesn't want to struggle anymore. She found similerity between her and that bird.
Secondly, I find an irony in Edna's behavior that often goes overlooked. She doesn't want to be tied down in a traditional Creole marriage to Leonce, but she wants to be with a traditional Creole man like Robert. How is he any different, really. Maybe she realizes that fact, and realizes that even what she thought she wanted is truly going to society's expectations for her. She fails to see that earlier in the story, and therefore fails in the totality of the situation.
Thirdly, In my own experience to be honest sometimes I feels exactly the same as Edna. When I look...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document