Edna's Escape The Awakening

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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. Although when thinking of other husbands she at one time admits that, “she knew of none better” than her own, she is in no way happy with her married life. When describing the feelings Edna had regarding her marriage Chopin describes the marriage as, “An indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like a mist passing across her soul’s summer day”. Throughout the course of this novel Edna is coming to the realization that she is extremely unhappy with her married life, and she wishes to be free from the oppression that she feels with the relationship with her husband. Unfortunately for Edna divorce at this time is unheard of, and would be regarded as a disgrace to Edna as well as her family. Edna’s unhappiness with her marriage leaves her with few choices; she can remain in her marriage and be miserable, or she can leave her husband and face the consequences. Edna, however, does not have the heart for either of these choices, and escapes the pain of he...

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...l not result from a new house, or her painting, or even her love for Robert, but instead will be much more difficult for her to obtain. It is this realization, as well as the oppression she feels from her marriage and the suppression she feels from her children that lead Edna to commit suicide, for she realizes that is the only way she will truly be able to escape her troublesome life.

Edna Ponteillier’s suicide at the end of The Awakening is a result of her failed attempt at a new life. Edna’s suicide was her last resort, and was simply a way to escape from the troubles that resulted from the unhappiness she felt with her life. Edna’s suicide was not representative of the final stage of her “awakening”, but was merely an escape from the oppression she felt from her husband, the suppression she felt from her children, and from her failed relationship with Robert.
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