The Awakening was a very exciting and motivating story. It contains some of the key motivational themes that launched the women’s movement. It was incredible to see how women were not only oppressed, but how they had become so accustomed to it, that they were nearly oblivious to the oppression. The one woman, Edna Pontellier, who dared to have her own feelings was looked upon as being mentally ill. The pressure was so great, that in the end, the only way that she felt she could be truly free was to take her own life. In this paper I am going to concentrate on the characters central in Edna’s life and her relationships with them.
Leonce Pontellier, the character portraying Edna’s husband was a man very traditional in his thinking. He was self-absorbed and honestly did not see the fault in his own ways. He sincerely believed that Edna was the most important person in his life. However we notice throughout the story that his behavior was in direct contrast with that statement. Edna is only important to him, as in how she effects him and the effect her actions has on his life.
If we look at chapter three, Leonce comes home in the middle of the night, awakening his wife whom is fast asleep. He immediately beings to give her the details of his day. When she is unable to fully reply, because she is half asleep, he becomes upset. He states that she is the sole object of his existence and he is upset that she takes so little interest in his concerns. If she was indeed the sole object of his existence, he would have been more considerate than to awaken her in the middle of the night, because he wanted to talk.
Also look at chapter 32, when Leonce, learns that Edna is mov...
... middle of paper ...
...e will never have a taste of life’s delirium. Could this mean that as long as you do not take risks, float on the edge and cease being content, you do not truly live or enjoy the “craziness” of life?
More similar to Edna is Mademoiselle Reisz. Like Edna, Mademoiselle. Reisz was a free spirit who did not agree with oppression of women at that time. She was looked upon as being weird and mentally disturbed. Something was definitely wrong with a woman who did not care what others thought and whom chose her own path in life. Mademoiselle Reisz inspired Edna to be true to herself and defy the norms.
It was very appropriate that the ending scene took place at the sea, for it was ion the sea when Edna experienced her first taste of freedom (see Chapter ten). Edna finally empowered herself by deciding her own fate, instead of allowing others to choose it for her.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Among the many ways by which novelists communicate their message through literary elements and devices, perhaps one of the most important is through the representation of characters. By developing characters, novelists can express ideas as well as commentaries, and this can be further enriched by providing a foil. Conventionally defined as another character who contrasts with the main character, a foil helps emphasize the attributes of the latter while strengthening the message of the story. The two novels that feature foils discussed in the past 4 years are Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice and Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel The Awakening.... [tags: literary devices, characters]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- The Importance of Male Characters to Kate Chopin Why and how does she use them. Kate Chopin is an author who examines the position of women in 19th century Louisiana. She describes their plight, living in a society designed by men, one that confines women’s behavior. It was imperative for Kate Chopin to highlight her male characters, as they ultimately are responsible for her heroines’ actions. The “Awakening” and “Desiree’s Baby” are two examples that deal with the issues resulting from a male dominant society, though the stories vary in their approach.... [tags: Kate Chopin The Awakening Desiree's Baby Essays]
860 words (2.5 pages)
- Creole men of The Awakening Thesis: In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening the characters of the Creole men are diverse and different as the character Edna. Most of Kate Chopin’s stories center around a Woman unsatisfied with her position in life, while living in a man dominated society. The three main characters are typical men of that era. Chopin shows the diversity in each of those three characters. Roberts awakening, and the struggle to do what is the right thing. Alcee and how he is carefree and not concerned with society’s expectations of him, and so has a reputation.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
3202 words (9.1 pages)
- A Deconstructionist Critique of Chopin’s The Awakening The multiplicity of meanings and (re)interpretations informing critical studies of The Awakening reveal a novel ripe for deconstructionist critique. Just as Chopin evokes an image of the sea as symbolic of Edna’s shifting consciousness (“never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude,”138), likewise the deconstructionist reading of a text emphasizes fluidity over structure: “A text consists of words inscribed in and inextricable from the myriad discourses that inform it; from the point of view of deconstruction, the boundaries between any given text and that larger text we call langua... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
523 words (1.5 pages)
- The Voice of the Sea in The Awakening Many different symbols were utilized in Kate Chopin's The Awakening to illustrate the underlying themes and internal conflict of the characters. One constant and re-emerging symbol is the sea. The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace (Chopin 25). In the novel, “the ocean symbolizes Edna's "awakening" to a life filled with freedom and independence” (Nicke... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
886 words (2.5 pages)
- The Lady in Black and the Lovers in The Awakening Kate Chopin's The Awakening is a terrific read and I am hardly able to put it down. I am up to chapter XV and many of the characters are developing in very interesting ways. Edna is unfulfilled as a wife and mother even though she and her husband are financially well off. Her husband, Leonce Pontellier, is a good husband and father but he has only been paying attention to his own interests. At this point he is unaware of the fact that his wife's needs are not being met.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
873 words (2.5 pages)
- Kate Chopins' Awakening is Not a Tragedy When we think of a tragedy, thoughts of lost love and torments abound. The most human of emotions, sorrow, overwhelms us. We agonize over the tragedy, and the tragic figure. We lose sight of reality, enthralled by the suspense, captured by the Irony that, "we know" what plight lies ahead for the characters. We feel the suffering and the helplessness of the characters as the tragedy unwinds. Although Kate Chopins' The Awakening is a powerful story, it is by no means a tragedy. The Awakening does not posses the necessary components of a tragedy.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
1322 words (3.8 pages)
- Madame Bovary Vs. The Awakening Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and The Awakening by Kate Chopin both show the life of a woman in a half-dreamy stupor, overzealously running around looking for something but not knowing what it is they are looking for. They feel immensely dissatisfied with the lives they are stuck with and find suicide to be the only alternative. The two books, Madame Bovary, written in 1857 and The Awakening, written in 1899, both have the theme of confinement and free-will, yet differ vastly with respect to the yearnings of the main characters.... [tags: Madame bovary Awakening Compare Essays]
1749 words (5 pages)
- Kate Chopin The Awakening To what extent does Edna Pontellier, in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, mark a departure from the female characters of earlier nineteenth-century American novels The Awakening was published in 1899, and it immediately created a controversy. Contemporaries of Kate Chopin (1851-1904) were shocked by her depiction of a woman with active sexual desires, who dares to leave her husband and have an affair. Instead of condemning her protagonist, Chopin maintains a neutral, non-judgmental tone throughout and appears to even condone her character's unconventional actions.... [tags: Kate Chopin The Awakening Literature Papers]
2358 words (6.7 pages)
- Kate Chopin's Awakening Kate Chopin's depiction of “The Awakening” is realistic as she develops Edna Pontellier’s character from a socially and morally respectable individual to an individual that turns her back on everything closest to her as she births her new self-being. Edna Pontellier struggles between her subconscious and conscious thoughts as unusual feelings stir unfounded emotions and senses. Some of Chopin’s characters lend themselves in Edna’s “awakening”. Through examination of Leonce Pontellier, Robert Lebrun, Madame Moiselle Reisz, Adele Ratignolle, and Alcee Arobin the life of Edna Pontellier turns into her ultimate death.... [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays]
1462 words (4.2 pages)