Nancy Walker's Critique Feminist of Naturalist

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Whether it be a person, technology, or environment, the question of how things persuade a character to behave always arises. In Nancy Walker's critique entitled [Feminist of Naturalist], Walker states that Edna's downward spiraling life is caused by her inability to free herself from her Creole culture. Although it is true that the novel appears to embrace this idea, there are a multitude of moments where Chopin allows Edna to appear as a character who makes decisions for herself. In doing this, Chopin effectively illustrates a flaw in Walkers theory on Creole culture and naturalism, and reveals Edna's awkward and uncomfortable feelings towards a culture said to immense her. By doing this, Chopin reveals a humans ability to fight against nature, thus making their own choices and destinies. Chopin depiction of Edna uneasy feelings about the Creole culture that surrounds her is seen towards the end of the novel, as Mrs. Ratingolle delivers her child. Mrs. Ratingolle, one of the few close friends that Edna has, asks Edna to remain with her as she delivers her baby. As Edna stands she, realizes that her own experience of child birthing, “seemed far away, unreal, and only half remembered(Chopin 104)”. This is in contrast with Walker's argument that, “Chopin has caused Edna to be hypnotized by the sensuous Creoles, by the warmth and color of Grand Isle(255)”. Though the word “unreal” suggest a hypnotized state of mind for Edna, almost like a dream, it also suggest a detachment from the scene itself. In stating that child birth for Edna seemed “far away”, and “half remembered”, Chopin depicts an attachment between the tradition and Edna. It is another moment where Edna appears to reject the Creole culture, by pushing it away, put... ... middle of paper ... ...rom letting her emotions show causing her to do something drastic. Chopin again contradict Walker, illustrating that Creole culture has not taken over Edna's mind, but instead allowed her the ability to revolt against it. In conclusion, while there are instances in the novel that do suggest Edna's enthrallment in Creole culture, Walker neglected to looks at other instances where Edna shows resistance against it. Chopin suggest that although there are a multitude of things that can effect a person decisions, a person in the end makes the decision consciously, and based on their own wants and desires. Regardless of whether Edna would have lived or dies, nothing would have change. Edna was not immersed in her culture, in fact she rejected it, and just like she did, perhaps others can reject the influences around them.

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