Analysis of Kate Chopin's, the Awakening

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Analysis of Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening

Many people in the world, at some point in their life, face some sort of independence or realization of themselves. These sudden gusts of independence or self realization can be a result of an event or events in ones’ life and/or from the influence of another person or persons. In Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening, the main character Edna Pontellier experiences several events and emotions that effect her realization (“awakening”) as well as the aftermath of it. She is faced with difficult decisions and a constant flow of crazy emotions. The way she handles each obstacle, sets her up for the next to come.

Edna Pontellier is a twenty- eight year old respectable woman of the late 1800s and is married to businessman Léonce Pontellier of forty; together they have two sons. She is the protagonist of the novel, and the “awakening” to which the title refers to is hers. Being married to a wealthy French Creole requires Edna to follow certain social standards and behaviors. While vacationing in Grand Isle, Edna suddenly realizes that she is dissatisfied with her limited, conservative lifestyle and marriage. She becomes aware of her surroundings and emerges from her role of devoted wife and mother, in which she becomes more focused on her own identity and acts upon her desires. This discovery of self realization did not just happen on its own – there were events and people surrounding Edna at the time, which helped influence and awaken her desires and urges for music, sexual satisfaction, art, and freedom that she can no longer tolerate to keep hidden.

The start of Edna’s depression mode can be said to have begun once she had married Léonce. Mainly, due to that fact that this marriage caused her to move out of her natural element of Kentucky and Mississippi, and into the unfamiliar environment of New Orleans and during the summer, the vacation spot of Grand Isle. At the beginning of the novel, she seems to exist in a...
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