The Awakening: Critical Perspective
SOU: English 1002 Comp. II/ Literature
The Awakening: Psychoanalytical Perspective
The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a powerful novel that has been widely viewed the most by literally scholar critics from a psychoanalytical perspective. Although, The Awakening was suppose to be a romantic novel, it left alot disparity, unexplained situations, and inferred questions. Due to this many critics became more enthralled on examining the characters in the novel especially the protagonist Edna Pontieller from a psychoanalytical point of view. To view Edna Pontieller the main character in the Awakening, we must then adapt psychoanalytical perspective by Freud. This allows us to look at Edna’s personality, hidden motives, and emotions, conscious and subconscious behavior. Sigmund Freud believed, that the events that occurred in a child’s life helped mold their personality and behavior as they were growing (Chiriac, Para 12). Freud also analyzed, that each human has an ego and id and the ego is part of the individuals ‘personality that established itself as children into adulthood (Chiriac, Para 11). When our ego is not balanced we can become selfish, impulsive, and can hurt others along the way. The ego also helps to balance the id so it can sustain a healthy sense of reality. The id is what we are born with and what define are needs and wants from food to selfish pleasures.
The Awakening’s setting is Grand Isle, New Orleans in the late 1800’s. Our protagonist Edna Pontellier is an affluent married woman with two children. Edna has black servants, a nurse “quadroon,” and a group of close friends. Edna takes advantage of her affluent role in her society by allowing the nurse to raise her children and the maids to cater to her husband’s needs. Nevertheless, Edna lacks tranquility and is in turmoil emotionally. She is unhappy with her loveless marriage, unsatisfied with her life, and cannot find true happiness. She feels...
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