The Awakening explores one woman's desire to find and live fully within her true self. Her devotion to that purpose causes friction with her friends and family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of her time. Edna Pontellier's story takes place in s Louisiana, within the upper-class Creole society.
They are staying at a pension , a sort of boarding house where each family has their own cottage but eat together in a main dining hall.
Also staying at the pension is the Ratignolle family; Madame Ratignolle is a close friend of Edna's, although their philosophies and attitudes toward child rearing differ fundamentally. Madame Ratignolle is the epitome of a "mother-woman," gladly sacrificing a distinct personal identity to devote her entire being to the care of her children, husband, and household.
In contrast to Madame Ratignolle's character is Mademoiselle Reisz, a brilliant pianist also vacationing on Grand Isle. Although Mademoiselle Reisz offends almost everyone with her brutal assessments of others, she likes Edna, and they become friends. Mademoiselle Reisz's piano performance stirs Edna deeply, awakening her capacity for passion and engendering the process of personal discovery that Edna undertakes — almost accidentally — that summer.
Another Grand Isle vacationer is the young and charming Robert Lebrun. Robert devotes himself each summer season to a different woman, usually married, in a sort of mock romance that no one takes seriously. Edna confides in her a desire to become a painter, and Mademoiselle Reisz cautions her about the nature of the artistic lifestyle. Mademoiselle Reisz believes that only through a life of solitude and a disregard for society can an artist define herself and create real art.
Edna enjoys a rewarding friendship with Mademoiselle Reisz, however, she finds the lonely artistic lifestyle to be imperfect due to its lack of sexuality. Because Mademoiselle Reisz is the only artist-woman Edna is familiar with, Edna sees her lifestyle as representative of all artist-women.
After this potential has been brought to her attention, Edna cannot imagine herself living the asexual, artistic lifestyle of Mademoiselle Reisz, even if it might be a way to find the individuality that she is searching for. Edna yearns for a more physical relationship, where she can be touched and pleasured, so she rejects Mademoiselle Reisz as a role model. Edna attempts to find self-definition by creating a third lifestyle option and beginning to act like a man.
She sees that men are allowed to live lives of sexual fulfillment, while not being expected to bear or care for their children, and develop a personality and individual self through participation in the business world. Edna first finds a sense of masculine freedom when Leonce goes to New York and Raoul and Etienne go to Iberville to stay with their grandmother. Edna explores her newfound lifestyle by taking up gambling at the racetrack and beginning to sell her paintings.
By infiltrating this masculine world, Edna is able to generate an income all her own and use the money she makes to rent a house. The pigeon house, as she calls it, is a place far away from any reminders of her family life. Her final attempt to acquire the unfettered life of a man comes in the form of her affair with Alcee Arobin. The Awakening and Other Stories.
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Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates. As the bird falls, it spirals down in a circle, alluding to the fact that one of its wings has not been broken and therefore, it is still fighting to remain above the water.
This is connected to Edna in that her last act of rebellion is to take absolute control and to end her life. When in the water, Edna is reminded of the infinite probability around her and of her own position within society.
Irony is developed in the setting through juxtaposition of the opposing ideas that although the ocean is the place where Edna meets her death, it was the first place where she began her awakening. Chopin develops social commentary to emphasis how societal perception overpowers individual desire.
Pontellier leaves to go on a business trip, Edna has the availability to move out and seek her own abode. The characteristics of pigeons and Edna are closely linked, both expressing rebellious attributes. Chopin focuses on the fixed minds of the people surrounding Edna and the prejudiced beliefs of society as Edna searches for herself.
Soon after she moves into the pigeon-house, Edna seeks sexual satisfaction with Alcee Arobin. When speaking about Mademoiselle Reisz, Edna states. Since Edna is searching for her independence, she pities Alcee and his blatant acceptance of the social norms. This insistence pushes Edna to prevent falling among those who are not strong enough such as Alcee. Alcee plays an essential role in that his confusion represents societies.
Furthermore, although the pigeon-house allows Edna to seek independence, it also holds a false sense of reality. As Alcee and Edna leave the pigeon-house for a walk, Edna gives a detailed description of the house.
Free Awakening Essays: The Creole Men of The Awakening - Creole men of The Awakening Thesis: In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening the characters of the Creole men are diverse and different as .
awakening greatly transforms Edna’s body and mind. Kate Chopin makes this evident by her use of references to the sea, the birds, and the foreshadowing of Edna’s end of life decision.
The following paper topics are based on the entire book. Following each topic is a thesis and sample outline. Use these as a starting point for your paper. I. Thesis Statement: None of the men in. The Awakening Kate Chopin The Awakening literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Awakening.
Click Here for a Free Detailed Chapter-by-Chapter Summary of “The Awakening” Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: The Layered Significance of the Title. The title of Kate Chopin’s novella is significant because it refers to the many ways in which Edna begins to awaken to the world around her. The Awakening by Edna LeBlaine -. Outline TOPIC QUESTION: How do the settings in the novel relate to Edna’s journey to spiritual awakening to find space for herself in the universe.