The Awakening By Kate Chopin Essay examples

1073 Words May 7th, 2015 null Page
In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier was a rebellious wife and mother in the late 1800s that struggled to discover her true self. Edna was gradually awakened to her true identity and desire to be independent from a society in which women are overpowered and stereotyped. Women were presumed to take care of their children and serve their husbands for the well being of the family. Edna’s inability to reach independence ultimately led to her downfall. Edna 's suicide was an assertion of her independence from a society in which all men in her life had attempted to control or repress her in some way. The Colonel, Edna’s father, was a strict Protestant disciplinarian who believed husbands should manage their wives with authority. He explained to Mr. Pontellier that he was, “too lenient by far… Authority and coercion are what is needed. Put your foot down good and hard: the only way to manage a wife. Take my word for it” (282). Edna was raised in a time where a woman’s role was to take care of the children and household while obeying their husbands. Although she was unsatisfied with this role, she completed all the tasks around the house while her father visited. She completed those tasks so she did not disappoint him. Edna felt the struggle she had with her father; as she committed suicide she, “heard her father’s voice and her sister Margaret’s” (723). At that moment Edna kept swimming because she wanted freedom from the life that had her trapped to…

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