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The Awakening: A Woman's Fight for Independence

Uploaded by Admin on Dec 10, 2000

Right from the beginning the plot is almost conveniently evident. You find a woman, Edna Pontellier, tired of living her life as a pampered and "owned" wife and mother. She is searching for much more in her life, some sort of meaning for her whole existence. She searches for a long time but in the end, the inevitability of her life's pattern and direction wraps around her, suffocating her. She is overcome with wonder, confusion, and guilt for what she believes and what she does to express her beliefs. She finally finds a way to beat the "proper" 1890's lifestyle by committing suicide. During this story Edna struggles with three main opposing powers. First, there is the society's opinion of what a woman's "roles" in life was and how they should act, look, and feel. Second, is her independent nature. The last opposing power she comes across is her undying love for the charming Robert Lebrun.

It is the unwritten rule that a woman should marry, have children, and be happy and content with that as their life. Society portrays this to be a woman's rightful job and duty. A woman should act and look "proper" at all times. This is what Edna is fighting against in this novel. She feels that, though many women agree with this "known" rule, it isn't fair. For six years Edna conforms to these ideas by being a "proper" wife and mother, holding Tuesday socials and going to operas, following the same enduring schedule. It is only after her summer spent at Grand Isle that her "mechanical" lifestyle becomes apparent to her. She sees how much she is unhappy with the expectations, held by society, of her life and she wishes to erase them and live her life as she wants.

Edna has an independent, almost self centered, nature about her. Her need for an uncontrolled lifestyle is what leaves her feeling "owned" and wanting to break that label; she fights to do as she wishes. Little by little she breaks free of society's' image, letting her independence shine through. She cancels her Tuesday socials and helps out around the house doing little chores. The biggest step she made was her decision to move away from her mansion and into the "pigeon house", a little cottage around corner. After this move she was free to explore her new profound freedom and desires. She succumbed to the...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   12/10/2000

Category:   The Awakening

Length:   4 pages (814 words)

Views:   1457

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