Most analyses of the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, explain the newly emerged awareness and struggle against the societal forces that repress her. However, they ignore the weaknesses in Edna that prevented her from achieving the personal autonomy that she glimpsed during her periods of "awakening". Kate Chopin chooses to have Edna take a "final swim" as evidence of her absolute defeat as an insightful study of the limitations that prevent any woman from achieving the ultimate goal of self-actualization. Simply put, Edna's awakening leads to her suicide. Newly aware of the meanings her life could take on, the awakened part of herself presents Edna with a command to take action.
Edna steers her actions by her emotional needs and personal interest causing her to show a complete lack of perception outside of herself. Her death critiques societal conventions through the actions she takes in her liberation since Edna is conscious of her revolt against the system. Edna is fully aware of her situation, although in the end she realizes she cannot live outside of society, she isolates herself from civilization to create a new independent identity, starts to explore her desires through art and truly gives into her sexual needs while demanding more respect for herself as a form of rebellion. Edna understood that by disregarding societal values, she will be isolating herself from everyone in her life. Isolation and independence are mutually inclusive and Edna starts to understand this when Adele Ratignolle cannot comprehend how Edna “would never sacrifice herself for her children” (46).
The men and women of "The Hours" view death as an escape from an ordinary lifestyle which lacks anything truly extraordinary or exhilarating. Laura Brown considers death as an alternative to the constraints of her role as a mother and a wife. Both Richard Brown and Virginia Woolf ultimately commit suicide in order to escape their illnesses and their failures to live up to society's expectations. Though Laura does not end her life, she does die symbolically to her family. Over the period of a day, Laura Brown gradually succumbs to her overwhelming desire to liberate herself from her mundane life.
Edna’s Fall from Grace in The Awakening In the novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin tells of Edna Pontellier's struggle with fate. Edna Pontellier awakens from a slumber only to find that her life is displeasing, but these displeasing thoughts are not new to Edna. The actions taken by Edna Pontellier in the novel The Awakening clearly determine that she is not stable. The neglect of her duties as a wife and mother and as a woman of society are all affected by her mental state. Her choices to have affairs and disregard her vow of marriage represent her impaired judgment.
Secondly, Ophelia’s surrender to her imminent fate also echoes her unstable, manipulative, and emotional abusive relationship with Hamlet and the hierarchy in her dynamic, as she always obeys without hesitation. Regardless of how Ophelia’s death began, the result was a suicide, as the pure (graceful), serene, and beautiful imagery of her suicide implies that her death was a last effort to recover her dignity, rebel against her oppressors, and exert her free will. For Ophelia, a life of oppression and blind obedience drove her to a frailty of mind, and in her last moments, she chose death over dishonor to defeat the inner demons threatening to condemn her to an otherwise hopeless existence.
She chooses death as an escape from domestic submission and also solitary independence. But because she refuses to forfeit neither her independence nor her family, she ultimately refuses to make a decision. This non-decision drives Edna to committing suicide.The ending of Kate Chopin's The Awakening can be open to many interpretations. Edna's suicide can be viewed as an awakening or a failure. " Her suicide gives her the power, the dignity, the self-possession of a tragic heroine.
The final resolve of her “awakening” to her desires, her ultimate suicide, is not an honorable position that women should strive toward as a romantic ideal because her desires were hopeless in her situation. Through Edna’s striving for personal satisfaction, she loses the joys that daily life has to offer. Theoretically, Edna’s need to fulfill her personal desires is the cause of her demise. Edna chooses to associate and be enamored with Robert. In doing so, Edna begins to step farther and farther away from her family and sees their needs less clearly.
And "Mrs. Pontellier was forced to admit she knew of none better"(689). By using words like "forced" and "admit", Edna has to acknowledge her true feelings towards Leonce. Edna's leaving Leonce's mansion is another important detail when considering the process of her awakening. By moving to her own residence, Edna takes a big step towards her independence. Throughout The Awakening, Edna increasingly distances herself from the image of the mother-woman, until her suicide, which serves as the total opposite of the mother-woman image.
The protagonist moved out of her husband’s house when she started earning her own money. She was obsessed with the idea of becoming an independent woman, and she only thought that she can only become independent when she is away from her husband. She abandoned Robert her husband and her children in her quest for self actualization. Edna was running away from what the society de... ... middle of paper ... ...d and children, the protagonist wanted more from life and this led to her downfall ultimately. She strayed from her responsibilities as a mother and wife, and embraced her intense desire for self fulfillment which she never got in her relationships.
After Joan commits suicide, Esther believes that unless she turns her life around, she will also commit suicide. Esther saw so much of herself in Joan, that when Joan ended her life she was frightened that she would follow in her footsteps, due to the fact that she had throughout the entire novel. Once Joan was gone, Esther was truly free. The part of Joan that was reflected in Esther vanished. The “bell jar” that had been suffocating her was finally lifted.