Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Search for Self in The Awakening
In The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier is a married woman with children. However many of her actions seem like those of a child. In fact, Edna Pontelliers’ life is an irony, in that her immaturity allows her to mature. Throughout this novel, there are many examples of this because Edna is continuously searching for herself in the novel.
One example of how Edna¡¦s immaturity allows her to mature is when she starts to cry when LeƒVonce, her husband, says she is not a good mother. ¡§He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother¡¦s place to look after children, whose on earth was it?¡¨(13). Edna, instead of telling her husband that she had taken care of her children, began to cry like a baby after her husband reprimanded her. ¡§Mrs. Pontellier was by that time thoroughly awake. She began to cry a little¡Kshe thrust her face, steaming and wet, into the bend of her arm, and she went on crying there, not caring any longer to dry her face, her eyes, her arms,¡¨(13,14). These tears made Edna look as if she was still a child and that she is tired of being treated as a child by her husband. These tears also showed her she did not like where she was, a sign of maturity. Her tears symbolize her first awakening.
Although the next morning, after Edna had cried the night before had to go and say good-bye to her husband because he was leaving on a business trip. Edna acted immaturely around him again when he gave her half the money he won the night before. ¡§¡¥It will buy a handsome wedding present for Sister Janet!¡¦ she exclaimed, smoothing out the bills as she counted them one by one,¡¨(15). Edna is spoiled by all of her husbands money.
Another example of how Edna¡¦s immaturity allows her to mature is when Edna swam like a baby when she went swimming for the first time, and she had over estimated her power. ¡§Once she turned and looked toward the shore, toward the people she had left there. She had not gone any great distance¡Kshe made no mention of her encounter with death and her flash of terror, except to say to her husband, ¡¥I thought I should have perished out there alone.
How to Cite this Page
"growaw Edna Pontellier’s Search for Self in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Dec 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
648 words (1.9 pages)
- 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]
582 words (1.7 pages)
- 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]
819 words (2.3 pages)
- 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]
763 words (2.2 pages)
- Kate Chopin's The Awakening Kate Chopin's novella The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman who throughout the novella tries to find herself. Edna begins the story in the role of the typical mother-woman distinctive of Creole society but as the novelette furthers so does the distance she puts between herself and society. Edna's search for independence and a way to stray from society's rules and ways of life is depicted through symbolism with birds, clothing, and Edna's process of learning to swim.... [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening]
1023 words (2.9 pages)
- Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, the author depicts how someone can be trapped in an unproductive and unsatisfying reality because of other’s thoughtlessness, exploitation, and domination. When combined with the contemporary society’s belief, presumably the later half of the 19th century, a further understanding of Chopin’s thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the image of such a person.... [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour Essays]
664 words (1.9 pages)
- 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]
1629 words (4.7 pages)
- Edna’s Search for Solitude in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Home from a summer at Grand Isle, separated from the company of an agreeable and, eventually beloved, companion and in the stifling company of a disagreeable, oblivious husband, Edna Pontellier sees her home, her garden, her fashionable neighborhood as "an alien world which had suddenly become antagonistic" (76). When she is left alone in the house, she thrills to the sensation of free time and space, the chance to explore, investigate, to see her house in its own light.... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
1270 words (3.6 pages)
- 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]
1046 words (3 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)
Another example of how Edna¡¦s immaturity allows her to mature is when she begins to think about Robert again. While her husband is away on business, Edna neglects her duties on Tuesday¡¦s and does not stay home to see her guests. Instead, Edna goes out into the city, and at the time was considered foolish and immature to be doing. Edna would go out and visit Mademoiselle Reisz at her house. She would go to her house and read letters that Robert had written to Mademoiselle Reisz. ¡§Show me the letter and play for me the Impromptu. You see I have persistence. Does that quality count for anything¡K¡¨(106). This shows that Edna is now beginning to emotionally mature. She is now learning and just starting to find out about her true feelings towards Robert Lebrun. ¡§¡¥I love you,¡¦ she whispered, ¡¥only you, no one but you. It was you who awoke me last summer out of a life ¡Vlong, stupid dream¡Know you are here we shall love each other, my Robert. We shall be everything to each other. Nothing else in the world is of any consequence,¡¦¡¨ (179). Edna feels as if she has matured so much in the novel that now she knows that Robert is her soul mate, her true love, and her emotional maturity. She was only able to find this maturity after cheating on her husband.
Another example is that demonstrates Edna¡¦s road to maturity through immaturity is when she refuses to go inside. One night she chooses to go sleep outside in the hammock. Her husband tells her to come inside, yet she refuses to do so. She tells him she does not want to go inside, and this shows the reader that she has a mind of her own and once again is learning to make her own decisions ¡V making these decisions is showing maturity on her part.
One more example of how Edna¡¦s immaturity allows her to mature is by the way that she allows her infatuation for Arobin to get in the way of her normal everyday life. She allows her infatuation for him to get in the way because she starts to listen to him more, and spend more time then she should with him. Her husband despises him, yet Edna continues to act immaturely and still see him. Edna gets to a point in her infatuation of Arobin that she wishes she slept with him and she even dreams about it. ¡§She regretted that she had not made Arobin stay a half hour to talk over the horses with her¡K it was no labor to become intimate with Arobin,¡¨(126,127). That shows her immaturity even more so because she is a married woman. ¡§It was Arobin that took her home. The car ride was long, and it was late¡Khe filled his match safe, but did not light his cigarette until he left her, after she had expressed her willingness to go to the races with him again,¡¨ (125). By her staying with Arobin, and defying her husbands¡¦ wishes, which is immature, she is in a way maturing ¡V this demonstrates the irony in Edna¡¦s life, to be mature she must first be immature. She is learning to make decisions on her own. ¡§Madame Lebrun might have enjoyed the outgoing, but for some reason Edna did not want her. So they went alone, she and Arobin,¡¨ (127). Again Edna is acting immaturely, and foolishly by going with Arobin alone, which will help her to mature.
In conclusion, for Edna Pontellier to mature, she had to first act immaturely which made Edna¡¦s life a complete paradox, continually contradicting itself. ¡§The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude¡Kthe water was deep, but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long, sweeping stroke. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace,¡¨(189). Edna ended her life in the sea, her final awakening.