Character Criticism In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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In Kate Chopin’s book The Awakening, the protagonist Edna Pontellier goes against the usual norm of the world she lives in and starts to learn how to live life the way she wants to: as a free spirit. As the story unfolds, we see our main character rebel against the usual ways of her society by seeking and exploring a passionate physical love outside her marriage. Lots of characters throughout the story start to realize that she is not happy and unsatisfied by being a normal and traditional woman, meaning being a married woman with kids. Unfortunately, she is already in this lifestyle. It is hard to break free from that, especially in the era that she was in. Throughout the story, she reaches out to many characters who contribute to her personal…show more content…
She has no kids, no husband, no family to take care of, and deep down, I think Edna has a certain envy towards Mademoiselle Reisz. It is very uncommon for a woman in their society to not have a husband and children. Instead of worrying about a family, she decides to go against the status quo and go after what she truly is passionate about, which is music and playing the piano. She represents all the things that Edna wanted and still wants to do in her life. Mademoiselle Reisz is a breath of fresh air for Edna. She shows Edna that not all women have to have a husband and have children. She gives Edna a taste of freedom and independence. She motivates Edna to make Casios !2 a better life for herself and go after what she is truly passionate about, which is painting and becoming an artist. Mademoiselle Reisz's seclusion provides more time reserved for herself and her art. Madame Reisz leads a life alone, without family and friends in her apartment. She learns to live with all the bad things that accompanies the good things. Throughout the novel, Mademoiselle Reisz is uncertain that Edna is strong enough to become a true artist. In one of the scenes of…show more content…
"The children appeared beCasios !3 fore her like antagonists who had overcome her; who had over-powered and sought to drag her into the soul’s slavery for the rest of her days" (Chopin 115). Towards the end of the novel, she decides that the only way to take command of the situation is to drown herself. In her eyes, this saves her kids the trauma of losing their mother to scandal after her socially unacceptable behavior. If she were to go back to her married life with Léonce, then she would be unraveling all the hard work she had done. If she were to “drown”, then she would spare her family the scandal that would accompany a suicide. In conclusion, I believe that Mademoiselle Reisz played a huge role in Edna’s personal awakening. Edna always looked up to Madame Reisz and she always wanted her life. She saw that Madame Reisz was living the life she wanted to live and she also wanted that for herself. Edna realizes that she didn't want her life to be traditional, but she realizes it too late to do something about it. Mademoiselle Reisz was the goal that Edna wanted to achieve. I believe that she was the most influential character in this

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