The Awakening: A Literary Analysis

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Women in history so frequently were oppressed by society, like in A Rose For Emily and The Awakening, where we see two beautiful women fall into depression because of these men. In both stories the leading women suffer from depression yet the way they express their sadness and their life in society are so different. Back then, depression wan’t classified as a mental illness and women were just receiving the rights to vote and work semi-equally as men. Women living in this time period were forced into living and following strict rules that their men expected. (Norton, 2012) So many lives during this time period were lost due to depression and still today we have so many young people taking their own lives. Reading The Awakening was our first…show more content…
Emily doesn’t conform to the change. When told to pay taxes she refused, she let her house smell terribly, she never left the house; Emily was an independent woman who did not let oppression from society completely rule her. In this story, emily slowing disintegrates into an introvert and wants to be left alone. We learn that “the front door remained closed” and I think this symbolizes Emily not conforming to society, she literally shut them and their rules out. Unlike Edna, Emily defies the rules. Emily won’t pay taxes, her sweetheart left, she has no children. The neighbors don’t really force their way in like in The Awakening, they leave Emily and her servant to be. In comparison to Edna, who followed society rules, Emily clearly doesn’t care about what society thinks or expects, she gains weight, she doesn’t take care of herself, and she refuses to pay taxes. Emily eventually falls ill and passes but her society takes it as an open opportunity to snoop around this mysterious woman’s house. No wonder Emily didn’t like these…show more content…
Mr. Pontellier lives a life thinking that all is well, his wife is happy, their kids are taken care of, and he works to provide for the ones he loves. Edna desires so much more than that, she want quality time and affection from her husband. (Goodreads, 2011) Edna finds her desires in another man, Robert, who leaves, comes back, and then leaves again. This doesn’t help Edna’s sense of being worthless and is what walks her into the ocean. Edna needed to be wanted by someone who she actually felt the same way about. Edna ha with drawn from her husband’s culture until Robert returned and when he did, she lit up like a Christmas tree. She clearly has not had a loving relationship for a while and meeting Robert finally gives her the attention she needs. Depression sweeps Edna into a painful black hole which leads to her feeling that her only way to truly escape the grasp of this society is to kill herself. Men had this affect on women, sadly, and they felt so limited that they saw suicide as their only way out. It’s unsettling that a problem that was first brought to light in the 1800’s is still something people battle with everyday. You would think that society would realize these people need help, there a symptoms, and there are ways to prevent this loss of innocent lives. Maybe we should stop freaking out about two people of the

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