Free Awakening Essays: Impressions


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Impressions of The Awakening   

I liked "The Story of an Hour" much better than I liked "The Awakening" for a few reasons. First of all, "The Awakening" was entirely too long to say what it had to say. I do not really understand the point of having Edna spend all of that time away from Robert. At first, I thought it was to prove how much she missed him, but then she started fooling around with the other guy. To me, this does not indicate that she missed him very much at all. So what was the point of that whole boring part of the story? It made me want Robert to hurry up and come back so we could get on with it (which I guess Edna was thinking the whole time). Then when he does come back, they admit their love for one another, but they still are not together.

I guess the ending just kind of pissed me off. I don't get the point in her "waking up" and being free to do whatever she feels, but she still cannot be with Robert. Another thing I did not like was the constant references to waking up and awakenings. I think that when a story is really good, you need to think about it, whereas this story just comes right out and tells you where the turning point is. It was obvious to me by that point when she learns to swim that this will be a turning point in her life, so I don't like the fact that Chopin practically spells it out for us.I do like the fact that, Chopin, living in the times that she did, had the courage to make such a stink! I liked the part where Edna is lying in the hammock, and her husband is yelling at her to come inside to go to bed while she stubbornly refuses.However, Chopin ruins it for me by telling us that Edna makes a conscious decision never to obey her husband against her will again.

I think the portrayals of Edna's two friends serve to contrast what she is(or society believes that she should be) with what she will become. Adele is the mother-type who sacrifices all for her children and her husband, and she even assumes a motherly role in the life of Edna, giving advice and trying to protect her friend all the time.

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What Edna will become is an artist, who cares not what other people think, and who does not have to answer to a man, or anybody but herself. Even though Robert tells Edna that he loves her, I wonder about it... He apparently was in love with every other married woman on the island in the past. The only difference with Edna is that she comes to love him too. I do not know if this is threatening for him to have his "love" actually be returned and that is why he leaves or what. Either he is like lots of other people who find the hunt more thrilling than the kill, or he really does love her, and does not want to stifle the new person she has become.

At the very end, I guess she dies by drowning. Why does our heroine die a loveless death? She should be living happily ever after when she realizes that she will forget Robert, and after all, she is AWAKE!

 


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