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The Awakening Character Analysis

A character analysis of Edna Pontellier
by

Joe Cook

on 14 September 2010

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Transcript of The Awakening Character Analysis

Character analysis-edna pontellier the awakening by kate chopin character bio Edna is the protagonist of the novel, and represents the “awakening” which is the name of the novel. Edna is a 28 year old wife of a New Orleans businessman, Leonce Pontellier. In the novel, Edna finds herself dissatisfied and somewhat depressed with her marriage and the limited lifestyle that goes along with it. She has an epiphany which takes her from the semi-conscious state of devoted wife and mother to a state of total awareness, in which she discovers her individualism and listens to her desires for emotional and sexual satisfaction. This epiphany is referred to as her "awakening". After her "awakening", Edna transforms into an independent woman, who lives apart from her husband and children and acts according to her own urges and passions. Ultimately, Edna’s choice to break away from the conformity of society at the time alienates her from others and eventually leads her to a life of lonliness and solitude. by joe cook positive traits Edna had the strength and courage to break away from conformity. Her "awakening" forces her to become an independent woman, which I consider a positive trait. Edna shows obvious rebelliousness, which can be interpreted as both a positive trait or a weakness. For this situation, I interpret it as a positive trait since her rebelliousness gave her the determination and courage to break away from the standard ways of society--an ordinarily difficult thing to do. Edna is a romantic person who is very sociable and easy to get along with. Another positive trait Edna has is open-mindedness. Instead of conforming to society like everybody else, she considers her options and acts according to her self-interest, not what is done by the general population. weaknesses A weakness or flaw that Edna posseses is her child-like tendencies of infatuation and the temptation of having an affair with Robert. Edna holds unrealistic dreams about an adulterous affair with Robert that has no consequences and has no regard for the needs or wants of anyone but herself. An example of this is when Edna does not think twice about leaving her kids with her mother, just as long as she is able to pursue her fantasies with Robert. Often, Edna's independence leads to selfishness, an obvious weakness for the protagonist. Probably Edna's greatest weakness are her emotions, seeing that they lead to her downfall when she committed suicide. the end what i learned From taking an in-depth look into the character of Edna Pontellier, I have learned that sometimes it's not always best to conform, but to pursue your self-interest (to an extent) for the purpose of hapiness. I also gained insight of women's reforming thoughts and actions (in the 1800's) and the idea of pursuing individuality, and breaking away from the traditional situation where the husband basically owns the wife and the wife must submit to the will of the husband. From analyzing this character, my knowledge has been broadened and I have become more open-minded and considerate of women's rights. Chapters I-III Discussion Questions WHAT ARE THE PREVAILING THEMES OF THE NOVEL? DO YOU THINK THE PURPOSE OF THE STORY IS MEANINGFUL AND WORTH THE TIME TO READ? DO YOU THINK THE SETTING IS ESSENTIAL? COULD THE STORY HAVE TAKEN PLACE ELSEWHERE? DO YOU THINK EDNA WAS RIGHT IN HER DECISION TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE STANDARDS OF SOCIETY? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK LED TO EDNA CHOICE TO COMMIT SUICIDE?
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