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Edna's triumph began early in the book when she initially realized her desire to rebel against her husband's commands, unlike her habitual obedience to him in prior years. The narrator described Edna's changed behavior when she stated, "She could not at that moment have done other than denied and resisted. She wondered if her husband had ever spoken to her like that before, and if she had submitted to his command (Chopin 41)." Edna considered her past and found it almost incomprehensible that she dealt with his demands for so long. When she realized her fault, Edna determined to change her behavior, regardless of her society's position.
Edna feared nothing when forced to make major decisions. She attempted to rise above society and the conditions forced upon her to act as the proper housewife who tended to her husband's every command. Edna often visited the ocean because it provided her with the strength and power to stand up to her husband and her society. Edna stated, "How few of us even emerge from such a beginning" (Chopin 17), which clearly demonstrated that she felt vast changes with her emotions and ideas, which allowed her to begin a new life. The sea, which Chopin described during the novel represented Edna's chance to break free and start over; "The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude" (Chopin 152). The ocean water symbolized of cleanliness and re-birth which provided Edna a new sense of freedom, strength and bravery.
Edna's awakening to society and her new self-awareness became her own fantasy. Edna stated, "The years that are gone seem like dreams- if one might go on sleeping and dreaming- but to wake up and find- oh! well! Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life" (Chopin 147).
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