Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Solitude as the Consequence of Independence For Edna Pontellier, the protagonist of The Awakening, independence and solitude are almost inseparable.
At Grand Isle, Edna eventually forms a connection with Robert Lebrun, a charming, earnest young man who actively seeks Edna's attention and affections. When they fall in love, Robert senses the doomed nature of such a relationship and flees to Mexico under the guise of pursuing a nameless business venture.
The narrative focus moves to Edna's shifting emotions as she reconciles her maternal duties with her desire for social freedom and to be with Robert. When summer vacation ends, the Pontelliers return to New Orleans.
Edna gradually reassesses her priorities and takes a more active role in her own happiness. She starts to isolate herself from New Orleans society and to withdraw from some of the duties traditionally associated with motherhood.
Being left home alone for an extended period gives Edna physical and emotional room to breathe and reflect on various aspects of her life.
Edna is shown as a sexual being for the first time in the novel, but the affair proves awkward and emotionally fraught. Edna also reaches out to Mademoiselle Reisz, a gifted pianist whose playing is renowned but who maintains a generally hermetic existence.
Her playing had moved Edna profoundly earlier in the novel, representing what Edna was starting to long for: Reisz is in contact with Robert while he is in Mexico, receiving letters from him regularly.
Edna begs Reisz to reveal their contents, which she does, proving to Edna that Robert is thinking about her. Eventually, Robert returns to New Orleans. At first aloof and finding excuses not to be near Ednahe eventually confesses his passionate love for her. He admits that the business trip to Mexico was an excuse to escape a relationship that would never work.
When Edna returns home, she finds a note from Robert stating that he has left forever, as he loves her too much to shame her by engaging in a relationship with a married woman. Edna escapes in an ultimate manner by committing suicide, drowning herself in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
She rebels against conventional expectations and discovers an identity independent from her role as a wife and mother. Despite viewing Reisz as disagreeable, Edna sees her as an inspiration to her own "awakening.
Robert's flirting with Edna catalyzes her "awakening", and she sees in him what has been missing in her marriage. Style[ edit ] Kate Chopin's narrative style in The Awakening can be categorized as naturalism.
Chopin's novel bears the hallmarks of French short story writer Guy de Maupassant 's style: This demonstrates Chopin's admiration for Maupassant, yet another example of the enormous influence Maupassant exercised on nineteenth-century literary realism.
However, Chopin's style could more accurately be described as a hybrid that captures contemporary narrative currents and looks forward to various trends in Southern and European literature. Mixed into Chopin's overarching nineteenth-century realism is an incisive and often humorous skewering of upper-class pretension, reminiscent of direct contemporaries such as Oscar WildeHenry JamesEdith Whartonand George Bernard Shaw.
Also evident in The Awakening is the future of the Southern novel as a distinct genre, not only in setting and subject matter but in narrative style.
Chopin's lyrical portrayal of her protagonist's shifting emotions is a narrative technique that Faulkner would expand upon in novels like Absalom, Absalom!Kate Chopin uses powerful and significant symbolism in The Awakening to depict the feminist ideas involving women's longing for sexual and personal emancipation through the development of the main character, Edna Pontellier, as she recognizes the extent of her passion and ultimately the disappointment after the realization of her inevitable .
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Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay Words | 6 Pages. Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Chopin's The Awakening is full of symbolism.
Rather than hit the reader on the head with blunt literalism, Chopin uses symbols to relay subtle ideas. The Awakening is a novel by regionalist writer Kate Chopin. Noted as one of the first feminist works in American literature, the story centers around one woman's transformation from traditional.
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.
Critical Analysis: Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" Essay Words 8 Pages In the novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin () uses deep symbolism to show how the main character, Edna Pontellier, discovers her own independence in the society in .