growaw Edna Pontellier’s Identity in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

growaw Edna Pontellier’s Identity in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Length: 738 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Identity in The Awakening  

Kate Chopin's The Awakening is about a woman's growing sense of identity. The novel takes place on an island south of New Orleans and in New Orleans. Edna Pontellier is 28 years old when she "wakes up". Her husband Leonce Pontellier is much older than she - forty years old.

The Awakening opens when Mr. Pontellier - a businessman- is disturbed by the noise some parrots are doing. They repeat "Allez vous-en!" which means go away. It sounds such as an invitation to Edna to leave her cage of marriage. This is what she is doing in steps throughout the novel. The "parrot" image is very interesting because parrots can be trained to talk, and they repeat only what someone taught them. Edna refuses more and more to follow the rules women are trained in. She starts to look for a self-determined life. In Chapter VI Chopin writes "Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being." She realizes this after going to the beach with Robert for a bath in the sea. The sea and swimming play an important role in this novel. The sea is an archetype of death and rebirth. In the beginning Edna experiences "the touch of the sea" as sensuous, and she seems to feel renewed. At the end she enters the water of the Gulf naked and feels "like some newborn creature." When she dies, it seems that death and rebirth have met and the circle has closed. ( Teachers comment: Something is very wrong with the grammar here).

To underline that Edna is different from the typical women at Grand Isle and New OrleansChopin creates the character of Adele Ratignolle. She is described as the embodiment of the "mother- woman." She seems to accept and enjoy her role as a wife and mother. She knows her duties and (in XIV) leaves Edna alone because Monsieur Ratignolle is alone at home and "he detested above all things to be left alone." When Edna tells Adele "that she would never sacrifice herself for her children," Adele does not understand. She fulfills her role as a mother and wife, whereas Edna wants to define her role new. She asks in Chapter XIII "How many years have I slept?" and Robert mentions later "All but the hundred years when you were sleeping.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"growaw Edna Pontellier’s Identity in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Nov 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=7303>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on growaw Growth of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

- The Growth of Edna in The Awakening In Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is forced to strive to fit in with everyone and everything around her. Born and raised in Kentucky, Edna is used to the Southern society, but when she marries Leonce Pontellier, a Catholic and a Creole, and moves to Louisiana with him, her surroundings change a great deal. This makes her feel extremely uncomfortable and confused; she feels as though she has lost her identity along with a great deal of her happiness....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
648 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about growaw Epiphany of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

- The Epiphany in The Awakening       Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, presents the struggle of an American woman at the turn of the century to find her own identity.  At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, seems to define her identity in terms of being a wife, a mother and a member of her community.  As the story progresses, Edna seeks to define herself as an individual.  The turning point in her struggle can be seen clearly in a scene in which Edna realizes for the first time that she can swim.  Having struggled to learn to swim for months, she realizes in this scene that it is easy and natural.  This discovery is symbolic of Edna’s break from viewing herself...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Research Papers
819 words (2.3 pages)

growaw Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Edna Pontellier’s Awakening Essay

- Edna's Awakening in Kate Chopin's The Awakening       The society of Grand Isle places many expectations on its women to belong to men and be subordinate to their children. Edna Pontellier's society, therefore, abounds with "mother-women," who "idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it to a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals".  The characters of Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz represent what society views as the suitable and unsuitable woman figures....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

growaw Personal Growth and Death of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

- The Awakening: Personal Growth and Death The Awakening is a novel about the growth of a woman becoming her own person; in spite of the expectations society has for her. The book follows Edna Pontellier as she struggles to find her identity. Edna knows that she cannot be happy filling the role that society has created for her. She did not believe that she could break from this pattern because of the pressures of society. As a result she ends up taking her own life. However, readers should not sympathize with her for taking her own life....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
992 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on What's Hidden In Kate Chopin's 'The Storm'

- What's Hidden in Kate Chopin's "The Storm". Kate Chopin's the storm is about a woman named Calixta who rekindles a lost romance with a former lover in the midst of a storm. This story centers on lost love and being stuck in relationships that are unwanted. There is a lot of hidden meaning in the story, told well behind the characters and their surroundings, and it also has a strong plot, and a lot of symbolism. The plot of a woman and a man rekindling a lost romance in the midst of a storm is one with a lot of innuendos....   [tags: Kate Chopin]

Free Essays
1548 words (4.4 pages)

growaw Metamorphosis of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

- The Metamorphosis of Edna Pontellier in The Awakening The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, tells the story of a woman, Edna Pontellier, who transforms herself from an obedient housewife to a person who is alive with strength of character and emotions which she no longer has to repress. This metamorphosis is shaped by her surroundings. Just as her behavior is more shocking and horrifying because of her position in society, it is that very position which causes her to feel restrained and makes her yearn to rebel....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
582 words (1.7 pages)

growaw Unfulfilled Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essays

- Unfulfilled Edna of The Awakening As evidenced in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and other novels of the 1800’s, women writers of this period seem to feel very repressed. Leonce Pontellier seemed to be fond of his wife, and treated her as one would treat a loved pet. In the beginning of the story it describes him as looking at her as a “valuable piece of personal property”. He does not value her fully as a human being more as a piece of property. However, he expects her to be everything he thinks she should be....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Research Papers
763 words (2.2 pages)

Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay

- Kate Chopin's The Awakening Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening expresses the difficulty of finding a woman’s place in society. Edna learns of new ideas such as freedom and independence while vacationing in Grand Isle. Faced with a choice to conform to society’s expectations or to obey personal desires for independence, Edna Pontellier realizes that either option will result in dissatisfaction. Thus, Edna’s awakening in Grand Isle leads to her suicide. Edna’s awakening occurs during her family’s vacation in Grand Isle....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays]

Research Papers
1346 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Kate Chopin's The Story Of An Hour

- Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Question #1 Compare and contrast women's roles and marriage in "The Story of an Hour" and "The Yellow Wallpaper." Mrs. Mallard had heart trouble and is very sick. After the news of her husbands death she locked herself in her room and all she could think was she was finally free. She knew she would weep again when she saw her husband with his hands folded in death, but all she could think as she sat in the room all alone was of the many years she would have ahead of her to only live for herself: "But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely" (Danticat 138)....   [tags: Kate Chopin]

Free Essays
1629 words (4.7 pages)

The Kiss By Kate Chopin Essay

- Things and People are not always as they appear to be on the first sight that is why we have to examine them in different ways otherwise they may mislead us. That is more then true in the short story "The Kiss" by Kate Chopin in which she uses imagery, irony and simile to show us how deceitful a person can be. She tells us by the actions of her characters that a person should not be judged solely by his or her appearance or words because those things can be dangerously misleading. All of the characters in Chopin story play their own games and in more or less visible way try to manipulate others to achieve their own sometimes not very righteous goals, but who will eventually succeed in realiz...   [tags: Kate Chopin]

Research Papers
1046 words (3 pages)

Related Searches

" Edna seems suddenly to be aware of herself and feels emotions she never had before. She literally wakes up. When Adele gives birth to her child, she wants Edna to be with her and reminds her "think of the children, Edna." Adele wants Edna to stay with Leonce and accept her role in society. But it is too late, because Edna realizes "it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life." The contrast to Adele is particularly obvious when Edna goes the last time down to the beach and "the children appeared before her like antagonists who overcome her, who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul's slavery for the rest of her days."

 

In the passage "How few of us ever emerge from such beginning!." Chopin refers with "us" to female readers although "the beginning of things" are alarming for men too. To deal with “unfinished business” is always dangerous. Chopin seems to pull the female reader deeply in this novel. With this device she tries making the reader to show solidarity. Suddenly the reader is part of Edna's awakening and cannot judge it from outside. Chopin expresses as well with this sentence that Edna is not the only women in society to this time who has doubts about her role.

In the same paragraph Chopin seems to be ironic when she mentions that even the "Holy Ghost" is not pleased to give women wisdom. I guess many readers were shocked by this statement because it contains an underlying critique of christian religion. This paragraph is formulated in a way that some readers can use it also as a warning to women not to question their "wifely" duties.

 

 Edna’s nakedness in the end could not only mean that she is a newborn creature but also that she is vulnerable like a newborn. She is finally without cover and presents herself without protection. She knows now “There was no one thing in the world that she desired.”

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com