Comparing "The Awakening" and "Their Eyes Are Watching God"

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When looking at many novels the reader tends to look at whether or not the author has sympathy with the characters. Within the two stories The Awakening and Their Eyes Were Watching God, the author has sympathy for one of the characters but not the other. The two stories both have main characters that struggle with their own existence in life, but in The Awakening the author had more sympathy for Edna. In Their Eyes Were Watching God the author tends to be non-sympathetic toward all the male characters except for Edna’s third husband, Tea Cake.

In the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the character Edna Pontellier; a middle-aged married woman and mother who discovers her hunger for passion and romance for the first time in her entire life. Kate Chopin obviously sympathizes with her main character. The sympathy shows evident when she lets Edna get away with almost everything she can think of in the story. When Edna falls in love with Robert, the author allows her to wonder with him without much argument from Edna's spouse. Chopin also gives Edna the chance to speak her mind and to even move away from her house and into the "pigeon hole,” where she becomes truly happy-all this while Edna remains married. However, Chopin does not pity Edna because she allows for Edna's fate to take care of her. Edna’s empty heart makes her repetitive, with the only aim of catching up with an otherwise sterile love life. However, she is too late, a married middle aged women with children. She exhibits an established marriage within a society that expects her to be a certain way. If Edna tries to start a new life, she is more than likely to fail and does fail. Robert cannot be hers, and she loses her interest in living. When Edna finally commits suicide, it is not like she tried to put an end to her life. Instead, it seems she wanted to give herself the chance to be reborn in another life. Therefore, while Chopin gives Edna the chance of experiencing her awakening, she...
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