The Self-Actualization of Edna Pontellier

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The Self-Actualization of Edna Pontellier

The plotline of the novel, The Awakening, occurs in the 19th Century. It is during the beginnings of feminism and female’s individualism. This can be seen through the protagonist of the novel, Edna Pontillier. What have been through by the protagonist, the readers are able to comprehend the need of being an individual. The readers are also able to identify how this need has created a type of prison for the women during the time.

The protagonist, Edna Pontillier, is a young wife and mother of two. Being raise into how to fit into the societal norms and values, would actually made her to have another individual self; the one for the inner existence that questions everything in her world. During the summer, Edna began to feel dissatisfaction of her own life. She might have a rebirth for her essential self.

The novel starts alongside the journey of Edna to her self actualization. The first hint of the initiation for her journey is when we are told that she cries in the middle of the night quite often. Then, her individualistic actions and thoughts rise to the surface. She soon starts to disregard her roles as a wife and a mother. She starts to support herself by selling paintings and rents a small house on her own.

She then discovers her need to satisfy her love after her self discovery is being initiated by Robert Lebrun. She then has an affair with Alcee Arobin, which she always fears her own actions but always her individualistic self dominates her actions then. As a final step for her journey of freedom when she moves out of the home she has with her husband and moves into her own little house. She runs into Robert and tells him of her love for him. She then clarifies that she is her own self and ready to be with him. However, he wants to ask Mr. Pontellier to divorce Edna and he can marry her later. This is contradicting to each other as Edna wants freedom, while Robert wants marriage. In the...
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