Madness is subjective, especially so in a time period where women’s emotions and thoughts were brushed off as unimportant. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin explores the inner life of a woman, lost in the patriarchal world and without anyone who truly understands her. Edna Pontellier’s supposed madness plays a large part in her characterization as a woman who has lost her way. However, Edna’s madness is not truly madness; it stems from a neglectful husband, crushing responsibility to society, and a sense of the complete isolation. Edna marries her husband, not out of love, but out of expectation of society and her family’s dislike of him.
Responsibility and Duty as they Relate to The Awakening Most cultures put heavy emphasis upon responsibility and duty. The culture portrayed in Kate Chopin's book The Awakening visibly reflects a similar emphasis. The main character finds herself wanting to stray from her responsibilities and embrace her intense desire for personal fulfillment. Edna's choice to escape shows two elements: rebellion to the suppression of her adventurous spirit and the lack of "fulfillment" in her relationship. Although she embraces her new found freedoms, she commits suicide at the denouement of the book due to her frustration with the world around her.
Never stable even as a girl, she was shattered by her husband's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it. Later the harrowing deaths at Belle Reve with which she evidently had to cope on her own, also took their toll. By this time she had begun her descent into promiscuity and alcoholism, and in order to blot out the ugliness of her life she created her fantasy world of adoring respectful admirers, of romantic songs and gay parties. She is never entirely successful at this, as the memories of her husband's suicide remain persistently alive in her mind. She retreats into her make-believe world, making her committal to an institution inevitable.
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.
In desperation she dates Mitch; a man she feels is beneath her but may help her out of her problem by supporting her. When Stanley reveals the truth and her last hope is dissolved all unresolved issues surface and she has a nervous breakdown. After having suffered the loss of her young homosexual husband to suicide and the loss of the final generation of the DuBois family and their estate ‘BelleReve’, it is no surprise that Blanche had been affected by these tragic events. She has tried to avoid the guilt she feels for her husband’s death by having ‘intimacies with strangers’ to ‘fill her empty heart’ and attempts to avoid realism and prefers ‘magic’ by telling ‘what ought to be the t... ... middle of paper ... ...more like a means of a way out the trap she finds herself in. There is evident pathos here as she and the audience are well aware that Mitch came to her house with the intention of raping her.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes a haunting tale of lost identity and the struggle to break free of oppression and find a voice to be heard. The central idea of identity loss causes the protagonist to slip into hysteria which is the only place that she seems to find a voice. Upon finding this voice she proceeds to break free from her husband and regain her identity. Without this conflict this is just the story of a mad woman who finally loses touch with all reality.
Women of the Great Gatsby “Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men” (Joseph Conrad). In the Novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the wife of George Wilson, Myrtle, has been cheating with the married man Tom Buchanan. From time to time they escape to an apartment Tom owns, behind each of their spouses backs. As time goes on Daisy, Tom’s wife, obtains the knowledge from Jordan that her previous lover is just across the bay and waiting to see her again. Daisy begins going behind Tom’s back with Jay Gatsby, tangling the characters in a mess of relationships.
However, when she descends the stairs with her sister and discovers that her husband is still alive it kills her. She could not handle losing everything she thought she had just gained. Louise only just realized all that she could do with her new life and had previously shuddered at the thought of living a long life with Brently. Now that she had a taste of freedom, she could not go back to the life she lived before and the crushing disappointment kills her. Chopin uses “The Story of an Hour” to demonstrate her belief not only in the shackles of marriage in that time, but also the cruelty of warping someone to suit your needs.
She cheats on her husband, disregards her children, and defies her societal expectations. At the end of the story, Edna Pontellier commits suicide to free herself from her confusing and scandalous life. During the first phase of Edna’s transformation (awakening), she realizes that she is not content with her lifestyle; she wants to could change her life and achieve freedom and bliss, so she turns her pursues this new goal. Chopin describes Edna’s perspective of her life during the beginning of her awakening: “There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why—when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation. She could not work on such a day, nor weave fancies to stir her pulses and warm her blood.” (97).
I can't make it more clear; it's only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me….but a woman who would give her life for her children could do no more than that” (Chopin.64). Both Edna and Adele have contrasting ideas about motherhood. Since Adele’s personality causes no cognitive dissonance she has no idea what Edna means when she says she would not give up herself. But while Adele pitys Edna , Edna is also pitying Adele. Because even though Adele is happy and free of anguish Edna is experiencing she lives in this colorless existence unknowingly following a path society said she must.