Examples Of Feminism In The Awakening

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Duaa Mikbel Sister Ahlam AP English February 18, 2015 Edna as a Feminist Feminism is a major theme in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Even though the story takes place in the later 17th to early 18th century in New Orleans, Louisiana, at a time when women had fewer rights and opportunities than men, the novel contains aspects of the idea of feminism throughout the course of the story. The novel follows the life of Edna Pontellier and her family while on a vacation during the summer and throughout the novel. Edna rebels against her expected role in society and instead chooses sexual freedom, financial independence,…show more content…
Leonce tried to convince Edna to go to her sister’s wedding, hoping that spending time with her family will do her good. Edna had no intention of attending her sister’s wedding and tells Leonce “a wedding is one of the most lamentable spectacles on earth.” (Chopin 71) For Edna to say this to her own husband’s face proves her feelings towards Leonce are neither sexual nor romantic. Edna validates her crave for independence by supporting herself financially. Edna frees herself from society’s norms of having her husband supporting her financially. Edna’s career in art has allowed her to grow drastically as an independent woman. Being able to finically support herself, Edna has become responsible for herself and is not dependent on anyone. Throughout the novel, Edna attempts to obtain her sexuality and freedom, and supporting herself financially is one of the biggest milestones she achieves in becoming independent and gaining an individual…show more content…
By committing suicide, Edna is releasing herself from social limitations and control. Her suicide is an act of freedom; hence, Edna is an absolute feminist. I think Edna’s suicide was not because she was giving up. Edna chose to drown herself instead of killing herself in a different way. I believe Chopin did this to symbolize water as the realization of freedom. I feel her suicide was intended to display Edna finally comprehending she is unable to live by society’s expectations anymore and can no longer put up with male domination. Edna is aware society will never permit her to live how she is longing for. Thus, she kills herself as a way to take the final control of her life. Edna finally feels free, demonstrating she could only be free of societal expectations dead. Edna’s suicide identifies her as a feminist, she chose to be free even if that meant taking her life away, instead of living in her eyes, a

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