Summary: Kate Chopinâs The Awakening features Edna Pontellier as the main character, a Victorian woman who adventures through concepts forbidden to females and conflicting against ideals at the time â self-exploration, freedom, and independence. Edna has a husband and children for whom she must care, but instead, chooses to rebel against what society expects of her and pursues her own emotions and desires, a process referred to as âawakening.â Edna begins to ignore her family responsibilities and develops a relationship with Robert, a man with whom she falls in love; he gives her a feeling of liberation from the constraints placed upon her by the idea of her husband possessing her. As her awakening develops further, she begins to acknowledge her internal desires for creativity, and begins to satisfy her primal needs. Unfortunately, at the end of the book, Robert leaves her, as he respects societal ideals more than his relationship with Edna. Her feelings of solitude become so overwhelming that she eventually commits suicide. Impressions: I felt Chopin was able to take the concept of the lack of womenâs freedom and portray it well into a fictional story that incorporated the many different consequences of the societal norm. Not only did she give an example of the ideal woman of the time through AdÃ¨le Ratignolle, she also created an understandable metaphor of what was the opposite extreme would look like by connecting the ocean to freedom and independence. The struggles Edna Pontellier faces throughout her awakening are realistic and believable; it is likely that many Victorian women who questioned societal ideals went through very similar thoughts as she did. The consequences of Ednaâs actions are also not farfetched, and appear to be what one would expect from someone in the process of rebelling against the accepted norms of society. Critical Analysis: A primary theme of The Awakening is the solitude that comes along with the lifestyle of Victorian women, both those who comply with the ideals like AdÃ¨le Ratignolle, and those who go against ideals like Edna Pontellier. Those who are in compliance with the idea that husbands possess their wives and their wives are responsible for tending to their family feel solitude because they are distant from their true selves. They are oppressed from expressing who they really are, and are told to fulfill their duties without tending to their own emotional desires. Failure to fulfill these urges keeps them distant from self-discovery, and they feel alone and separated from reality because they are unable to express themselves. Those who rebel, like Edna, still feel solitude because they are rejected by the rest of society for pursuing what is considered taboo and unacceptable. Although she was able to feel a sense of accomplishment by achieving her own sense of self, she no longer had others to be with her along the way. Although she developed a strong relationship with Robert Lebrun, Robert was still in tune with the norms of society and did not want to establish a further relationship with Edna, even though the love was mutual. He continued to acknowledge that Edna belonged to her husband, and he was to not breach that relationship by interfering with Edna. His ultimate compliance was clearly demonstrated when he left Edna to her own at the end of the story, and Edna was left to achieve her own awakening by herself. Works Cited: Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York, NY: Bantam Classic, 1981. Print.I finished this last week and my instructor already scored it as 50/50, so if you’re looking at this to actually learn something about The Awakening, the stuff I included is accurate and written well enough to meet my instructor’s standards.
Hi humans. As I stated in a previous blog post, I’m going to start posting my homework from my summer classes like I used to for my regular classes from previous semesters. The only class for which I’m consistently writing papers and essays is my literature class. Unfortunately, the books that we need to read aren’t exactly that exciting, so the resulting homework most likely will not that exciting either, but it’s still more content that I can put up on my website. This assignment is called a response paper – we write a summary of the book, our impressions on a particular aspect, and a critical analysis of the week’s topic. This week’s topic was theme, or the overarching idea that is present throughout the entire work.