Most analyses of the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, explain the newly emerged awareness and struggle against the societal forces that repress her. However, they ignore the weaknesses in Edna that prevented her from achieving the personal autonomy that she glimpsed during her periods of "awakening". Kate Chopin chooses to have Edna take a "final swim" as evidence of her absolute defeat as an insightful study of the limitations that prevent any woman from achieving the ultimate goal of self-actualization. Simply put, Edna's awakening leads to her suicide. Newly aware of the meanings her life could take on, the awakened part of herself presents Edna with a command to take action.
When her life in New York came to an end, Esther came back her hometown to spend the summer vacation with her mother. However, a new incident hard hit Esther- she was rejected by the writing course that she was given high expectation by professors in her university. The conservative atmosphere in the town made Esther feel days wear on like years. Esther denied completely that all achievements she got in past 19 years, and she even felt doubtful and terrified toward the future. Facing such heavy pressure, she was broken down totally.
Could this novel have been foreshadowing Sylvia’s death, which took place a little less than a month after? Esther Greenwood was a scholarship student attending an all-women’s college in New York. While in school, she wrote for a women’s magazine under the supervision of her editor Jay Cee. Writing was her passion and she especially loved poetry. Unfortunately, the college life and New York City were not exactly what Esther had thought they would be.
Esther initially plays many roles for others; however, her identity crumbles when these contrasting lifestyles collide, for she cannot reach selfhood until she realizes that she can only be herself. For her entire life, Esther has juggled different versions of herself that she takes on to please other people; this leaves her inner self feeling lost and confused. Esther Greenwood is a girl who has known one thing in her life: winning prizes and scholarships. The summer after her junior year of college, she wins a fashion magazine contest for a month-long internship in New York. Cognizant that she should be having the time of her life, Esther only feels numb and disappointed.
She does not fear being alone, she is afraid of being without herself. It is also revealed that her society is often against her self-discovering favoring a more traditional female role. In its final scene, The Awakening offers readers a more complex method to obtain freedom, death. Edna’s suicide reveals her final awakening, breaking free from all the pressures that bind her. Edna’s awakenings in Grand Isle and in New Orleans set her up for failure by forcing her to understand her lack of options.
Dr. Nolan assures Esther that the shock treatments she will give her will be safe and admistered properly. Esther ends things with Buddy and becomes his friend. She even loses her virginity to a man she hardly knows. Esther has thrown away all her cares and does not do what she is expected to do by society but instead does what she is comfortable with. Sadly, Esther’s hospital friend, Joan, commits suicide and leaves Esther shattered and scarred.
Thus, she chooses to use Clarissa Dalloway to represent the life she aspires to have, and chooses that Septimus instead be the misunderstood genius who sacrifices his life. Ironically, both characters represent her inner conflict, and unable to resolve that conflict, she does indeed commit suicide to relieve both herself and her husband. Laura, Clarissa, and Richard each struggle in some way to cope with their mundane existences. Death, both in a literal and metaphorical sense, becomes their method for liberating themselves from such a life. They hope that this death will either bring new life to them or to the people they love most dearly.
Esther is from Massachusetts who goes to New York as a college student who is working for a month to be a guest editor for a magazine. She and the other eleven girls are pampered all the time. She has two friends who worry her, Betsey is very perky, but Doreen is very rebellious. Esther once goes on a date with a man named Marco who tries to rape her, but doesn’t succeed. This is something that can have an emotional, psychological, physical, personal, and social effect on someone and their day to day living.
As the narrator describes how people line up to see the character due to the fact that she comes back after every suicide attempt the narrator explains why her character does it. Plath reveals that the character does it “so it feels like hell. /I do it so it feels real” (46-47). The narrator is using a hyperbole to explain why her character commits suicide, we can understand that she does it in order to flee from everyone who sees her as a showcase. Moreover, it is a hyperbole because no one would want to feel the pain of hell which makes it exaggerated.
Edna's Escape The Awakening Edna’s Escape The ending of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is both controversial and thought provoking. Many see Edna Pontellier’s suicide as the final stage of her “awakening”, and the only way that she will ever be able to truly be free. Edna’s suicide, however, is nothing more than her final attempt to escape from her life. Edna Pontellier’s life has become too much for her to handle, and by committing suicide she is simply escaping the oppression she feels from her marriage, the suppression she feels from her children, and the failure of her relationship with Robert. Edna Pontellier’s marriage is a failure in her own eyes.