Kate Chopin's The Awakening Analysis

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Kate Chopin's The Awakening tells the story of a rich housewife named Edna Pontellier. Throughout the novel Edna struggles with feelings of loneliness and isolation as she searches to find independence and freedom in a society where her role was made before she was even born. In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the characters of Adela and Edna are juxtaposed to highlight the expected role of women and how not fitting this role can create feelings of isolation and depression.
One of Chopin’s first comparisons of Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle were the fact that Adele was a mother woman and Edna was not; “In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman. The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them,
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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. This is why it’s so hard for Adele to understand Edna: A woman who does not fit that role, does not possess the same domestic harmony, and also is very detached from her family. The anguish and cognitive dissonance that surrounds Edna is due to the fact knows what others want her to be and their inability to understand others may be different. Despite the detachment and isolation Edna will not chop the pieces of herself off that do not fit into the mold and she will not give up…show more content…
“Adele, pressing her cheek, whispered in an exhausted voice: "Think of the children, Edna. Oh think of the children! Remember them” (Chopin.149)! This situation was very ironic.Adele was giving birth to a child in which it was earlier said she did every two years and was being the ultimate “mother-woman”. While Adele wa giving birth, Edna was enjoying her freedom from her children “..she did not miss them except with an occasional intense longing. Their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed and for which Fate had not fitted her.”(Chopin.25) with her children away , her husband away business , living alone in the pigeon house and her affairs , Edna this very moment was the antithesis of the mother woman. Adele knew of all the things Edna has allowed to suffer for her awakening and was begged Edna to fit the role for her children. But as the audience knows Edna would not give up herself for her children even when she was alone , lonely , and
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