Feminine Agency in the Novel, The Awakening

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 399
  • Published : October 14, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview
Feminine Agency in the Novel “The Awakening”
Nicholas Davies nld24 15915634 In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening the main character of Edna is said to have found her agency or at least tried to. Her agency is represented not only as her independence but also her growth from a childish young woman to a more mature woman, though in societies eyes it is the opposite. Her growth and agency are shown not only through her childish behavior, the symbols of the sea and the parrot, and the relationships Edna shares not only with the women she befriends and the men that she falls in love with. Edna can be seen as a child maturing throughout The Awakening. In the beginning of the novel we see her as a mature women by societies’ standards, however while society sees her as a mature woman she, herself is still a child. Not only does she act on whims whilst not considering the consequences, her infatuations with Robert and Alcee Arobin, the brief bouts of insolence with Mr. Pontellier and the flighty affection that she treats her children with are all proof of her immaturity. The way Edna treats her children is particularly obvious as Edna herself thinks “she was fond of her children in an uneven, impulsive way” This idea I furthered when she permits her children to live with Mr. Pontellier’s mother and then spares them no additional thought throughout the novel. However the true symbol for Edna’s childishness is “the green meadow the stretches forever” referred to throughout the novel, at the beginning as Edna is talking to Madame Ratignolle “sometimes I feel this summer as if I were walking through the green meadow again; idly, aimlessly, unthinking and unguided.” And again at the end of the novel in what may be considered Edna’s suicide scene where she thinks “of the blue-grass meadow that she had traversed when a little child, believing that it had no beginning and no end.” This idea is furthered by the fact...
tracking img