Women roles have drastically changed since the late 18th and early 19th century. During this time, women did not have the freedom to voice their opinions and be themselves. Today women don’t even have to worry about the rules and limitations like the women had to in this era. Edna in “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin and Nora in “A Doll House” by Henrik Ibsen were analogous protagonists. The trials they faced were also very similar. Edna and Nora were both faced with the fact that they face a repressive husband whom they both find and exit strategy for. For Nora this involved abandoning her family and running away, while Edna takes the option that Nora could not do-committing suicide. These distinct texts both show how women were forced to act during their marriage and towards society during this time.
“The Awakening” explores the controversial character, Edna Pontellier’s, desire to find and live fully within her true self. She upsets many nineteenth century expectations for women and their supposed roles. Rebelling against societal norms, Edna finally learns to think of herself as an independent woman. One of her most shocking actions was her denial of her role as a mother and wife. She leaves her husband, Leónce and has an affair with Robert. Due to Robert's constant presence, Edna starts to experience a change within herself. She begins to develop a sense of herself as a whole person. She realizes that she is not satisfied to simply be a wife and a mother, and so she begins to stand up for herself to her husband. Leónce to Edna: “I can’t permit you to stay out there all night. You must come in the house instantly.” Edna replies “Leónce go to bed … I mean to stay out here. I don’t wish to go in and I don’t intend to. Don’t speak to me like that again; ill shall not answer you.” (Chopin 25). Her willingness for independence and freedom leads to her disobeying her husband. She realizes that she cannot continue taking orders she does not please to follow which...
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