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Clayton Gordon
7th Hour AP Lit

In Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening,Edna’s suicide was the best thing she could do because it was her escape from reality. When the narrator sounds to start like Edna at the end, this allows us to have sympathy and side with Edna in almost all situations. Chopin draws many similarities with Edna but only when Chopin is in her ideal world. We know this because Chopin actually says, “Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life.” Many critics have argued whether this was an escape or not, so was it? Chopin is a very realistic and Edna is the complete opposite of her and is more a naturalistic person. It's quite ironic how Chopin admires and has so much respect for her as a character so that leads her to think that Chopin created Edna to be the “Idealistic” woman of the time or at least what she wanted to be. Edna always seems to be making little steps of progression but never fully does anything special. An example of this is when she goes swimming because she paddles around but never actually swims. This tests her selfhood and ultimately she views the suicide as a defeat because she fails to accomplish her goal. Chopin credits all of Edna’s self-recognition to Robert and the external world. She also says there are two paths of Edna : the progressive kind where she starts to find her place in the world but more common is the regressive one.

Progressiveness is evident when Edna builds up enough courage to finally go swimming and realizes that she has spent her time “Splashing about like a baby!” (46). However regression surprises her because when she returns, all the men put her down. The awakening has hints of romanticism in it because the book ends with a flashback to her childhood. She also has this constant consumption of her mind with thoughts of Robert. She finds him as the most idealistic man to accompany her wanting to be the most...
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