Caught by Society

Good Essays
“Some people believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it,” Ann Landers. This quote relates to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Awakening by Kate Chopin because both Edna Pontellier and Daisy Buchannan are stuck where they are in life by society and money. The two women, Edna and Daisy, each married a man and had children. Then for Edna, a seemingly harmless friend named Robert sneaks his way into her heart and they fall in love, whereas for Daisy, a previous lover comes back to her with hopes of winning her back. The two women hold up an outer appearance that everything is ok and they’re happy with their lives when each of them know, on the inside they’d be happier with someone else. “Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life—that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions,” (Chopin ch7 prg1). There are two Edna’s – an Inner Edna and an Outer Edna – and the two do not match up. The Outer Edna conforms to society’s expectations while the Inner Edna questions her actions. On the other hand Daisy has been going through life without stopping and when she does stop she realizes she’s become someone she never thought she’d be somewhere she didn’t think she’d be. ”I KNOW. I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything… Sophisticated - God, I'm sophisticated,” (Chopin ch1). Daisy when she talks to Nick realizes that life took a turn she didn’t see when she says “God I’m sophisticated.” “As she swam she seemed to be reaching out for the unlimited in which to lose herself” (Chopin 74). Edna’s experiences of the water at the beach further develop the theme of freedom from her oppressed lifestyle that was common during the time

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