The Awakening

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Shelby Peake
Zimmerman/7th period
AP English IV
11/03/12

Timed Writing #7

Anais Nin, a French-Cuban author and activist, once asked a liberating question concerning the feminine role of society: “How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than create it herself?” Nin supplements a good portion of thematic endurance for which arises in Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening,” illustrating the prevalent subsidy of individualism over traditional standards. Although such context as individuality spurs itself among the highest motifs of classic literature, society’s portrayal of impeding tolerance within “The Awakening,” reflected by that of Edna and Robert, accumulates through the themes of independence, identity and the disillusion of affection. These fractions of significant ideas utilize the overall negativity of suppression versus expression, a statement in which Enda endures through death and circumvent self-knowledge.

In “The Awakening,” marriage acts as a suppressive barrier to happiness and individual fulfillment, conducted in Victorian society by the barely conscious habits of acquiescing to a husband’s orders. Edna Pontellier portrays the disillusionment of the institution of marriage; however, annul toward the dynamic. Between herself and Robert, the man she shows much passion for among the jest of their communities and Edna’s infatuations that culminate in her emotions with Robert, in which her priorities rule over his loyalty and dedication, the simple hint of a constructive marital status. “I am no longer of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say ‘Here, Robert, take her and be happy, she is yours,’ I should laugh at you both.” Chopin, through that of Edna’s declaration of individuality over romance, spouts the frustrating endurance of freedom from society’s bonds. Robert refracts the man-over woman dynamic as a response to his own heart of affection; however, such feelings fail to return. This instability organized by thematic structure conveys liberation from tradition as obstruct and painful.

While love denounces such morality through “The Awakening,” another nullified element acts against society through the crisis of identity, exemplified through Edna’s disoriented rejection toward the factory of status. Her realization concerning her lack of action corporates to the additional analysis of Robert, in which develops the confusion between indulgence and isolation. Robert constantly recognizes Edna for her marital status, but abrupt explosion of sexuality. By doing so, juxtaposing Edna’s own views, the tone of society alleviates the stifling indecision of both characters. Whether choosing to reveal or forget the factual evidence of ownership and dynamic, Edna’s loss of identity leads to the overwhelming conclusion of abandonment and solitude. “I would give up the unessential; I would give up my money, I would give up my life for my children; I wouldn’t give myself.” Chopin conveys Edna’s refusal of spirituality, in which religion correlates with such an idea of Edna’s newfound strength. Although she becomes limited by the societal trends, she questions it; however, disheartened by the thought of accepting her own regulations not to love.

As love and identity associate with the elements of societal suppression emitting frustration, the overall theme of “The Awakening” stands between Edna and Robert’s solace among a standard dynamic: solitude being the consequence of independence. Repression plays out subtly among a society with reputation, in which portrays itself through Edna’s association with Mr. Pontellier, whom carries an unhealthy addiction for his family’s own portrayal. Water, symbolized as Edna’s futile search for knowledge provides such an escape from the naivety and struggles of these standards. “The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting...
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