Essay On Edna Pontellier's Suicide In The Awakening

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The ability to be independent is not something that everyone possesses. For some, independence is not needed, and for others, it is not wanted. Today, independence is imperative in order to survive and achieve in the world; however, during the late nineteenth century, this was not the case. Women could survive solely by relying on their husbands to take care of them. Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening,” was one of these women until she was exposed to a group of free-thinking Creole women after spending a summer vacationing in Grand Isle. Through a series of experiences, or “awakenings,” Edna becomes a shockingly independent woman, who lives apart from her husband and children and is responsible only to her own urges and passions.…show more content…
The people around her fail to preclude her death by being unable to understand her and her new found desire for emotional and sexual satisfaction. Her husband, Léonce, sees Edna as a possession, not as an equal. He is very concerned with social appearances and, just as one might choose their clothing or furniture based on what they will “say” to others who see them, Léonce does not worry about Edna herself, only about what others think of her and how this will reflect back to him. Because of this, he never truly makes an effort to understand her feelings, leaving her alone and isolated. Their relationship lacks both passion and excitement. However, even Robert, her intimate lover, cannot understand Edna, “He did not know; he did not want to understand. He would never understand” (page 1733). Robert is caught between his love for Edna and society’s views that women are a possession of the husbands. Robert is so caught up in his own indecisiveness to commit to Edna, that he also does not take the time to know her emotionally. Edna’s lack of an emotional connection to others and their lack of connection to her is what helps drive her to committing

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