Death By Sea: The Ultimate Liberation Essay

Death By Sea: The Ultimate Liberation Essay

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The end to existence, more commonly known as death, is a unique and moving form of liberation. Death has the power to grant freedom from illness, safety from a life of danger, and in the case of Edna Pontellier, refuge from a life of entrapment. In the novel, The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, the literary work’s main character Edna Pontellier struggles to find her own identity and sense of selfhood. Edna fights to find her place amongst the expectations and traditions of society while herself longing for a life of independence and personal will. Despite numerous efforts made to find a suitable and fulfilling place in American society in the 1890s, Edna falls short, is not accepted by her peers, and is incapable of finding true happiness. Because Mrs. Pontellier finds that she shares with no other her visions of independence, individual strength, and personal happiness, the only fitting way Edna is able to fulfill these visions and fully awaken from a previous life of ignorance and unconsciousness, is through death. “Given the choices available to her, the ‘fulfillment’ of Edna’s desire can only be merger, and presumably death, in the element that first awakened it” (Freeman). Death frees Edna of unwanted responsibilities, from a judgmental society, from the bore of life, and most effectively from her old self. Because of Edna’s death by sea, she is able to fully transform and evolve into the woman she is destined to be. In the novel, The Awakening, despite her tragic death, the protagonist Edna Pontellier experiences an awakening through her fatal swim thus freeing herself from a life of entrapment.
Edna’s death represents personal and individual freedom and a release from society’s restraints. Edna lives an unfulfilling and...


... middle of paper ...


...wakening, despite her tragic death, the protagonist Edna Pontellier experiences an awakening, revival, and transformation through her fatal swim thus freeing herself from a life of entrapment and oppression.


Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1995. Print.
Evans, Robert C. "Renewal and Rebirth in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. .
Freeman, Barbara Claire. "The Awakening: Waking Up at the End of the Line." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. .
Kleypas, Kathryn. "Coming of age in The Awakening." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 15 Apr. 2014 .
Merriam-Webster. “Liberation.” Merriam-Webster. Web. 16 January 2014. .

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