In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is a selfish character. She wishes to live her life the way she wants without anyone interfering. She did not start selfish, but grew selfish as her hidden desires were awakened. Her selfishness comes from her complete disregard for anyone’s happiness besides her own. Edna refuses to attend her sister’s wedding, describing the event as lamentable. Even if Edna did not want to attend, a wedding is for the bride and groom’s happiness. She is unable to compromise any of her own desires for the happiness of others. Edna’s own marriage was an act of rebellion for marrying outside of what was expected, and came with the titles of wife and mother. Edna abandoned her relationship without trying to resolve any difficulties with her husband before satisfying her needs. She does not discuss with him her unhappiness or seek his approval before moving to the pigeon house. She develops her relationship with Arobin only to fulfill her own physical needs.
The relationship Edna has with Mademoiselle Reisz guides her transformation from a wife and mother to a single woman. Reisz acts as a role model for her, someone who does not conform to society’s expectations. Mademoiselle Reisz lives how she wants and accepts both positive and negative consequences of her lifestyle. From the first time Edna sees her play, she admires Mademoiselle Reisz. “The woman, by her divine art, seemed to reach Edna’s spirit and set it free” (623). The music she plays helps calm Edna’s spirit. Mademoiselle Reisz allows Edna to read the letters Robert wrote to her and she supports her in her decision to follow her heart and be with Robert. In doing so, she kindles the passionate flame Edna has for Robert. As Edna wishes t...
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...powerful; therefore, everything is a result of God allowing it to happen. Yet, how could a loving father allow disease to harm his children. Satan views man as unintelligent to believe the way he does about God. “He equips the Creator with every trait that goes to the making of a fiend, and then arrives at the conclusion that a fiend and a father are the same thing” (347).
Chopin, Kate. "The Awakening." The Norton Anthology of American Literature.. Gen. ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. C. New York: Norton, 2012. 561-652. Print.
Twain, Mark. "Letters from the Earth." The Norton Anthology of American Literature.. Gen. ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. C. New York: Norton, 2012. 336-351. Print.
Whitman, Walt. "Song of Myself." The Norton Anthology of American Literature.. Gen. ed. Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. C. New York: Norton, 2012. 24-67. Print.
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