Making Decisions In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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As a human it’s in our nature to make decision based on what may be best for oneself at the moment, but we do not think of the repercussions it may cause in the future. These decisions can have a positive and negative effect on one’s life. Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” shows the general population how making decisions without thinking rationally. Edna Pontellier made decisions that were both beneficial and harmful to herself and her family. She began to experience an emotion she has never been able to acquire and also caused her to become physically trapped in a situation that makes her battle between her dignity and image in society. Edna Pontellier returns back to her home with an intimate relationship for someone else other than her husband, which is what puts her in a harmful yet beneficial situation. Before Edna Pontellier “was not a woman given to confidences, a characteristic hitherto contrary to her nature” (Chopin’s 550). Since she did not have confidence beforehand it made the change both beneficial and obvious to the ones around her. She has always lived a “dual life that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions” (Chopin 550). One may look at her and think everything was alright, but inside she wonders what may happen if she does the things she wants rather than what society expects. She begins to think for herself which made the intimate relationship more beneficial for her but yet harmful to her family. “But she doesn’t act well. She’s odd, she’s not like herself. I can’t quite make it out” (Chopin’s 589). At this point in time, reader become more concerned about the decisions she’s making because it makes her happy but makes her husband wonder what has caused this dramatic change. At thi... ... middle of paper ... ...e and death overtakes her” (Toth). Edna Pontellier began to deal with emotions that were just too overwhelming for her; she received a letter from Robert stating “I Love You. Good-by—because I love you” (Chopin 625). Losing someone you love and having the feeling of being useless can cause you to do the unthinkable. She may have thought of the children and her husband but “they need not have thought that they could possess her, body and soul.” (Chopin 627). Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” is a story about a woman who seeks to find her true self-perception, but these decisions cause her to deal with consequences that can change her life in ways she can never imagine. The story creates decisions that can be beneficial but yet harmful to oneself and family. Readers can relate to Edna by understanding that one may act according to the way society wants or sees them.
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