Chopin`s critique in the novels stems from the fact that both Edna and Desirée fail to live up to their societies ideals. In, The Awakening, Edna fails to uphold the Victorian feminine ideal. During the early stages of Edna’s awakening and after she has been ‘awakened,’ Edna often laments on how different she is from Adèle Ratignolle, (who represents the Victorian feminine...
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...re driven to death by the society they live in.
In both of the texts, it is the women who must pay for the unfairness in the society that they live in, which is what Chopin is commenting on by implying that death is the only option women have. Chopin highlights how problematic it is that a woman must either renounce her independence/innocence or die, through the stories of Désirée and Edna. Each woman chooses to end her life because she feels as though there is no place for her in society, and thus instead of living in a society that doesn’t accommodate difference, they would rather die.
Chopin, Kate. "The Awakening." Seyersted, Per. The Complete Works of Kate Chopin Volume II. New Orleans: Louisiana, 1969. 881-1000.
Chopin, Kate. "The Father Of Désirée's Baby." Knights, Pamela. The Awakening and Other Stories. New York: Oxford, 2000. 193-198.
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