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The characterization of edna pontellier in the awakening a novel by kate chopin

Click the character infographic to download. Edna has her hands full looking for love and romance.

Edna Gets Hers

And it seems shocking, especially considering that Edna used to be sexually repressed, prim, and proper. Well, more than few things. She falls in love. The time she spends with Robert at Grand Isle is seriously romantic: In other words, they really connect. Her marriage to Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate.

It was in the midst of her secret great passion that she met him. He fell in love, as men are in the habit of doing, and pressed his suit with an earnestness and an ardor which left nothing to be desired. He pleased her; his absolute devotion flattered her. She fancied there was a sympathy of thought and taste between them, in which fancy she was mistaken. Add to this the violent opposition of her father and her sister Margaret to her marriage with a Catholic, and we need seek no further for the motives which led her to accept Monsieur Pontellier for her husband.

While Edna and Mr.

  1. Madame Ratignolle is happy to be a mother and wife and never really seeks to be anything else.
  2. She dabbles in painting, a passion that grows more serious throughout the novel.
  3. The novel can be divided into two sections — the summer at Grand Isle and autuum or winter in New Orleans, in the house in Esplanade Street and later the pigoen house. They stay at the house of the Lebruns, another well-to-do New Orleans family.
  4. This is something that Hubby Pontellier does not approve of.

Pontellier have a "mistaken fancy" of "a sympathy of thought and taste," Edna and Robert have what seems like the real deal. This sends her heart into a frenzy of pitter-pattering, and leads to her expanding her horizons: Edna's crushed and falls into a depression that she works on diminishing by doing the same things that gave her pleasure while Robert was still around.

She starts painting with a passion, even neglecting her domestic duties in order to channel her inner Rembrandt. She also neglects to stick around the house and take callers on Tuesday afternoon, which respectable housewives of the era were expected to do.

This is something that Hubby Pontellier does not approve the characterization of edna pontellier in the awakening a novel by kate chopin.

He tells her as much and she finds that—as a result of her numb state of depression, or maybe because of a reckless "What do I have to lose? What did you have to do? I simply felt like going out, and I went out. I told Joe to say I was out, that was all. It lets the reader know that Edna is treading into unfamiliar territory—she's disobeying convention, and she doesn't give a hoot.

She gets a boy-toy. Edna, having found love and kicked convention and the oh-so-important deference to her husband to the curb, starts a flirtation with local playboy Alcee Arobin. Here's the twist, though: In today's refreshingly relaxed society, something like this is no big deal.

But back then, for a woman to take a lover out of pure sexual attraction was positively demented. Still, Edna realizes that handsome Alcee scratches an itch she didn't even realize was there. It was the first kiss of her life to which her nature had really responded. It was a flaming torch that kindled desire. She moves out of her husband's house. This is where things start to get nuts, from a Victorian standpoint. A Victorian housewife like Edna could talk back to her hubby—and even have side baes—and still recover her respect.

But Edna goes beyond the pale. Or rather, she goes around the corner from home. At this point in the novel, Hubby Pontellier is away on business in NYC and the kiddos are off in the country. Edna is truly a free woman: And what's more, she likes it. The pigeon house pleased her.

It at once assumed the intimate character of a home, while she herself invested it with a charm which it reflected like a warm glow. There was with her a feeling of having descended in the social scale, with a corresponding sense of having risen in the spiritual. Every step which she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. She began to look with her own eyes; to see and to apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life.

No longer was she content to "feed upon opinion" when her own soul had invited her. We see a couple of things happening at once here: Edna is making a house a home—a charming home at that—all by herself.

"The Awakening" by Kate Chopin - Edna Pontellier, a woman fated to die

She realizes that she's slipping in the eyes of society, but equates that becoming more spiritually evolved. She's acknowledging that she's growing as an individual. She's prioritizing her own perception, and understanding that "look[ing] with her own eyes" allows her to cut through all the nonsense that society prioritizes. She rejects the institution of marriage When Edna is all alone in her new little house, Robert comes back.

And this is when Edna—and The Awakening as a novel—becomes super-radical. Because what we get is the setup for a perfect and pretty dang progressive happy ending. Edna's learned to stand on her own two feet, learned what love is like, and learned what hot, hot sex is all about.

Robert's happy to be back and is as head-over-heels as ever.

Edna Pontellier in The Awakening by Chopin

So, naturally, he suggests that she leave her hubby and the two of them should get hitched. Pontellier setting me free! I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier's possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, 'Here, Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours,' I should laugh at you both.

Pontellier's possession—she doesn't want to be anyone's possession. And the understands that marrying Robert, although it would be a happier prison, would still be a prison. Ultimately, Robert sets her free—he leaves again. This breaks Edna's heart, and she goes back to Grand Isle and goes swimming, presumably drowning.

But there's a big ol' question mark at the end of The Awakening: