IB History 1
8 November, 2012
Women's Right in The Awakening: The Rebirth of Edna
The Social and Political Issues of Women Rights and Responsibilities in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening brought readers into the life and inner world of Edna Pontellier. In the late 19th century, women’s roles were traditionally to tend a home, bear the children, and care for the husband. This role that was decribed as “The Mother-Woman, was considered one of the most important contributions women could make to their family and the nation. These duties that were entitled to a woman were meant to sustain the rights and freedom of womanhood. In these days no women would dare venture away from their womanly rights. However, in the authors novel, The Awakening, Edna was potrayed as a woman ahead of her time, who began to realize her position in the universe as a human being. She was portrayed as an insubordinate, whom after her trip to Grand Isle, was exposed to new experiences now wanting to live a full and free life rejecting her domestic role. Chopin uses the text to expose society, using her protagonist as the rebel not wanting to be tied down, who ventures on a passionate journey to search for her “spiritual, sexual, and artistic freedom” (Oxford University Press). The author, challenged society and damaged social barriers on women through the use of her character, Edna. Kate Chopin’s most famous book, The Awakening, explored a new and startling territory. Using her protagonist, Edna Pontellier, Chopin exposes society’s scrutiny towards women. While on a vacation in Grand Isle, Edna realized that the oppression of women limited her will of expressing herself as an individual. She soon came to terms with herself that there was more to a woman and life then what society expressed. Mrs. Pontellier’s first exposure to these thoughts was when she was around the creole women. They were women filled with dignity, pride, and what impressed Mrs. Pontellier the most was their...