Preview
Preview

Essay about Suicide in Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 762 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Suicide in Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening


Suicide is often thought of as a very sad and quick answer to problems, such as depression but in Kate Chopin's novel, she ironically portrays suicide as a passage to freedom. The Awakening (1899) is a short novel that depicts the life of a young housewife struggling for her independence, sexuality, and her self worth in an unromantic marriage. The author, through three major actions, shows the successful and triumphant "awakening" of Edna Pontellier. Edna's change in character unravels as she takes up painting, moves into her own house, and eventually commits suicide.

As the story unfolds, we learn that, although Edna Pontellier lives in relative luxury in the French Quarter of New Orleans with a successful businessman for a husband and two young boys, she is unhappy about the direction her life is headed. Edna's "awakening" begins when she realizes that she is living her life for others and not herself. The story takes place in the late nineteenth century, a time when women were expected to stay at home and take care of the children, with little independence. Edna decides to pursue her passion of painting making it even harder for her husband Léonce to understand her. She is stepping out of the traditional routine of women, leaving her husband to believe that she may be coming down with a sickness. However, Edna's thoughts are simply filled with her fantasies of Robert. Every summer the Pontellier's vacation at an upscale resort on Grand Isle. This is where Edna first encounters Robert Lebrun spending most of her days with him; she is taken by his love. The narrator says, "She could only realize that she herself... was in some way different from the other self. That she was ...


... middle of paper ...


... swim to her death, "...There beside the sea, absolutely alone, and for the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air...and the waves invited her"(115). For Edna this was the freedom that she had been working for and had finally achieved.

The tragedy of Edna Pontellier's death was not a cowardly retraction of her goal to become an independent woman, but rather a daring act of her courageous soul and the only way for her to free herself form the trials of her world. The Awakening shows the independence of a woman in need of change and the courage that it takes to pursue individual goals. It portrays a strong message to me about how important it is to fulfill your personal goals and be your own individual. Edna showed us this through her triumphant "Awakening."



References

Kate Chopin, The Awakening, New York: Dover Publications, Inc.1993


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Suicide in Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening - Suicide in Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening Suicide is often thought of as a very sad and quick answer to problems, such as depression but in Kate Chopin's novel, she ironically portrays suicide as a passage to freedom. The Awakening (1899) is a short novel that depicts the life of a young housewife struggling for her independence, sexuality, and her self worth in an unromantic marriage. The author, through three major actions, shows the successful and triumphant "awakening" of Edna Pontellier....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
762 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Edna Pontellier's Suicide in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay - Edna Pontellier's Suicide Suicide has been defined as "the act of self-destruction by a person sound in mind and capable of measuring his (or her) moral responsibility" (Webster 1705). Determining one's moral responsibility is what all of humanity struggles with and strives to achieve. Many forces act toward the suppression of this self-discovery, causing a breakdown and ultimately a complete collapse of conventional conceptions of the self. So then the question presented becomes whether or not Edna's suicide is an act of tragic affirmation or pathetic defeat....   [tags: Awakening Kate Chopin] 1574 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay Suicide in The Awakening by Kate Chopin - How do I view Edna’s actions at the end of The Awakening. Leading up to the ending of The Awakening, Edna found out many new things about herself, and has learned what it is like to be a free woman in her society. She learns that she does not want to be one of the typical women of society at the time and goes against the norms. Edna discovers that spending time with Robert and Mademoiselle Reisz makes her very happy. From spending time with Mademoiselle Reisz, Edna learns that she has a creative side to herself and she expresses this side through art....   [tags: Marriage, Freedom]
:: 1 Works Cited
601 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Suicide as the Best Option in Kate Chopin's AwakeningSuicide as the Best Option in Kate Chopin's Awakening - Suicide as the Best Option in Kate Chopin's Awakening The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, was considered controversial at the time it was first published in 1892 because of its intense sexual context. In fact, the critics of that era wrote in newspapers and magazines about the novel "it’s not a healthy book," "sex fiction," "we are well satisfied when Ms. Pontellier deliberately swims to her death," "an essential vulgar story," and "unhealthy introspective and morbid" (Wyatt). Edna, the main character, engages in sexual relationships outside of marriage....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1230 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Feminism in the Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay - Kate Chopin boldly uncovered an attitude of feminism to an unknowing society in her novel The Awakening. Her excellent work of fiction was not acknowledged at the time she wrote it because feminism had not yet come to be widespread. Chopin rebelled against societal norms (just like Edna) of her time era and composed the novel, The Awakening, using attitudes of characters in favor to gender, variations in the main character, descriptions and Edna's suicide to show her feminist situation. Society during Chopin's time era alleged women to be a feeble, dependent gender whose place laid nothing above mothering and housekeeping....   [tags: gender, society, suicide, feminism] 1399 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Identity and Society's Expectations In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening Essay - In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Edna Pontellier’s suicide is an assertion of her independence and contributes to Chopin’s message that to be independent one must choose between personal desires and societal expectations. Chopin conveys this message through Edna’s reasons for committing suicide and how doing so leads her to total independence. Unlike the other women of Victorian society, Edna is unwilling to suppress her personal identity and desires for the benefit of her family. She begins “to realize her position in the universe as a human being and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her” (35)....   [tags: the awakening] 598 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Chopin's The Awakening is full of symbolism.  Rather than hit the reader on the head with blunt literalism, Chopin uses symbols to relay subtle ideas.  Within each narrative segment, Chopin provides a symbol that the reader must fully understand in order to appreciate the novel as a whole.  I will attempt to dissect some of the major symbols and give possible explanations as to their importance within the text.  Art itself is a symbol of both freedom and failure.  In her attempt to become an artist, Edna reaches the zenith of her awakening.  She begins to truly understand pure art as a means of self-expression as well as self-assertion.  In a si...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays Kate]
:: 7 Works Cited
1483 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay - Kate Chopin's The Awakening Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening expresses the difficulty of finding a woman’s place in society. Edna learns of new ideas such as freedom and independence while vacationing in Grand Isle. Faced with a choice to conform to society’s expectations or to obey personal desires for independence, Edna Pontellier realizes that either option will result in dissatisfaction. Thus, Edna’s awakening in Grand Isle leads to her suicide. Edna’s awakening occurs during her family’s vacation in Grand Isle....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays] 1346 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay - Kate Chopin's The Awakening In Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening, written approximately one hundred years ago, the protagonist Edna Pontellier's fate is resolved when she 'deliberately swims out to her death in the gulf'(Public Opinion, np). Her own suicide is indeed considered as a small, almost nonexistent victory by many, nevertheless there are those who consider her death anything but insignificant. Taking into consideration that 'her inability to articulate her feelings and analyze her situation [unattainable happiness] results in her act of suicide...'(Muirhead, np) portrays Edna as being incapable of achieving a release from her restricted womanhood as imposed by society....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays Papers]
:: 7 Works Cited
1495 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Women's Role In Society - Have you ever wondered what the lifestyles of Nineteenth Century women were like. Were they independent, career women or were they typical housewives that cooked, clean, watched the children, and catered to their husbands. Did the women of this era express themselves freely or did they just do what society expected of them. Kate Chopin was a female author who wrote several stories and two novels about women. One of her renowned works of art is The Awakening. This novel created great controversy and received negative criticism from literary critics due to Chopin's portrayal of women by Edna throughout the book....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening] 1498 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]