AP English 3
February 9, 2012
The Awakening Abstract Assignment
Literary critic, Carole Stone, celebrates the fact that Edna’s flashbacks, her submersion into the Gulf, and her idealistic ways are all necessary in order for her to become a true artist. Stone disagrees with recent critics’ claims that Edna is childish and indecisive, making her unable to make decisions and move forward artistically. Stone believes that having Adele Ratignolle and Madame Reisz in her life brings about Edna’s artistic nature. Adele represents the traditional, Creole woman. She supports Edna to embrace her inner-woman and talk about things she normally keeps secret. Adele’s foil, Reisz, represents the independent life of a true artist that has never been married or had children. Stone also believes that Robert Lebrun is a factor in Edna’s progression towards becoming an artist. Robert, unlike her husband, can be not only a partner, but also a friend towards Edna. He teaches Edna new things and promotes her to express herself however she chooses, while her current husband, Leonce, does not. Edna also discovers a sexual need by hanging around Robert, causing her to have an affair later in the novel with Alcee Arobin. Kate Chopin uses the sea to symbolize Edna’s rebirth as well. In The Awakening, Chopin uses the symbol of the sea as both positive and negative. Carole Stone acknowledges the things that restrict Edna from fully being able to move forward which are experiencing Adele giving birth and Robert confessing his love for her but continuing with his choice to leave. Seeing Adele give birth is a reality check for Edna by realizing she will never be able to live how she pleases. Edna’s love for Robert inspired her artistic ways, so when he chooses to leave, her connection to art does, also. Even though her new life won’t be on earth, Edna finally experiences her rebirth at the end of the novel when she submerges into the Gulf and dies. Word Count:...