Happiness; is it essential or is it a mere unimportant simplistic virtue in
life's plans? Does everyone have the right to happiness? It is stated in the
Constitution that we as Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. In the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin the main
Character Edna has the "perfect life". The sweet loving husband, the cute
children, enormous amounts of money and an extremely large house. Yet with all
of this Edna is partially happy, but is not fulfilled. Since having a rushed
marriage to spite her parents Edna never took time to examine her life to see
what she wanted out of it. Edna late in the marriage wanted the freedom to
explore her mind, find herself and find what this person liked. In the
following I will defend the actions Edna took to find her happiness as
irrational as they may seem.
This story took place in the late 1800's when women's liberation was never heard
of. In this era women were supposed to find happiness in serving their husbands
and taking care of the children. There were no other options within the
restrictive boundaries of marriage, and divorce was never an alternative.
Women's lives were austere and self enrichment or self gratification were often
times cast aside relative to the more mundane tasks of daily life. Most women
accepted this but Edna did not. She figured that life was more than constantly
doing for someone else. She wanted time for herself in order to figure out who
she was. Some may see this as selfish but everyone is entitled to "me" time and
space. Although I admit she did not go about it in the best way at times; Edna
still was in going in the right direction.
Edna's marriage to Leonce Pontellier was to spite her father the Colonel because
Leonce was of a different religious faith. Also, Leonce was unceasingly devoted
to Edna which was something that had never occurred in any other relationship.
Edna, who had not... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). The Awakening: Casting Shadows. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Awakening-Casting-Shadows-5016.html
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"The Awakening: Casting Shadows." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Awakening-Casting-Shadows-5016.html.