Self-Expression In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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In Kate Chopin’s novel “The Awakening”, you see a woman who feels out of place in the French Creole Society she married into. She goes from possessing qualities of a respectful woman following her husband’s demands and a typical housewife to a selfish woman, who finds her own sexuality and realizes her power to break out of the traditional woman’s role. She is a wife and mother of two, which are the only roles available to women in the late nineteenth century. Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel “The Awakening” shows the implications of self-expression vs. 1890’s ideal women. According to Webster’s dictionary Self-expression is defined as the assertion of one’s own personality or feelings. Laura Leddy Turner’s article American Women in the 1890’s states,…show more content…
“’Leonce, go to bed, I mean to stay out here. I don’t wish to go in, and I don’t intend to. Don’t speak to me like that again; I shall not answer you.’”(Chopin 53) At that moment she shows that she doesn’t want to follow and obey everything her husband tells her, she wants to do what she wants. In the old days women were not allowed to speak back to there husband the way Edna did, I believe that was a form of disrespect. Therefore, speaking back to her husband may have been a big step in her breaking away from the traditional women’s role. For the past years, Edna has observed her reception day on a day set aside each week for receiving visitors, which is Tuesday. However, when she returned from New Orleans, she chooses to go out and not tend to her customers (Chopin 84). When Leonce comes home he asks, “’Tired out, Edna? Whom did you have? Many callers?’”(Chopin 84) Edna says that she has been out but she has received their cards. Edna chooses instead of doing her daily routine she decides to take a break and go out and she feels the need to not give an excuse or explain herself to her husband. Because Edna begins to awaken and makes her own choices, it comes with a cost to her children and…show more content…
She tells Edna that there’s talk around town that Arobin had been visiting her and that he is the type of man to ruin a woman’s reputation (Chopin 160). Although, Adele warns her Edna still chooses to be with them regardless of what Adele or anyone else has to say. Edna is finally making her own choices even though they are the wrong choices. According to Carey Reese article, Adele supports Edna but does not understand her decisions enough to encourage her actions such as rebelling against the traditional mother role. Adele supports everything Edna does besides the fact that she doesn’t want to be weighted down by her kids and her husband. She wants to be a free woman, she wants to be able to go and do things when she wants. She wants to be able to feel her sexual needs when she wants. She wants to be with Robert and love him and beloved the way a woman needs to be. She wants to gain attention from Robert that she is not getting from

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