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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...

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