The Awakening Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
It’s 1899; the Industrial Revolution is beginning to emerge and women are gradually wanting to feel as equal as their male counterparts and wanting a say on things. It wasn’t considered normal for women to defy what society expected of them. You were supposed to do as you were told from any man and be the perfect wife and mother to your children. There is always that one person who is brave enough to go against this and “march to the beat of their own drum”. How can someone be themselves if they are following someone else’s rules? How does one go about retaining their integrity with the pressures of society’s expectations? These questions correlate to Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening. Throughout the novel, Kate Chopin illustrates Edna Pontellier’s quest for identity and independence through having an affair with two other men, neither of which are her husband. Edna’s outlook on life changes drastically while staying in Grand Isle. She used to obey the rules of society but the oppressiveness of it is too much for her which eventually leads her rebel. When one rebels, they must go through sacrifice so they can live life the way they intend it to be for them. She sacrifices relationships and eventually ends her journey with her final awakening in the ocean. In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier demonstrates the unconventional woman and proves that the perspective that society holds of women is stifling, which prompts a woman to sacrifice herself in order to retain her integrity.
Leonce’s stifling dominance over Edna pushes her to sacrifice her place in the relationship in order to retain her integrity. When Leonce confronts Edna on the hammock, he gives her many reasons as to why she must go inside the house. Edna does not wish t...

... middle of paper ...

...ited peace.
In the novel, Mademoiselle Riesz states, “The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies,” (Chopin). In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier exhibits the unconventional woman and possesses the artist’s rebellious soul. She sacrifices her position as being a wife and mother to her children, in pursuit of her happiness. With the overbearing burden of upholding society’s idealized image of women, Edna repels the illusions by being a free woman. By her being free, it allows her to discover the world around her and unleash her curiosity. Kate Chopin illustrates through Edna that limits are nonexistent. Chopin also makes clear that the only way freedom can be truly achieved is through death. Although there were limited opportunities for women to express themselves, it takes courage to sacrifice oneself for the sake of being true to who they are.
Get Access