The Awakening by Kate Chopin

March 18, 2008
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The Awakening is a provocative book about a woman in the 1890's. Written by Kate Chopin in 1899 Given Chopin's approach to the novel, there can be no happy ending for Edna, and this feature places The Awakening in the naturalist school of writing. Edna Pontellier.
She is married with children, and proudly trying to find independence from her husband, her children, and "society". Edna is married to Leonce, and until this summer had been faithful. This book seems odd for the 1890's being that the main character is a woman who becomes unfaithful to her husband. It is based in New Orleans , and over the summer at Grand Isles, away from her husband.
Edna is not the normal wife of her time. She was not a house wife. She did not like to clean, cook, and she didn't think that she had to act like her husbands. Over the summer at Grand Isles Edna discovers her sexuality and realizes she no longer loves her husband, even worse she loves a friend named Robert LeBrun. She tries to hide these feelings for she knows there relationship would be unacceptable. Soon though, Robert leaves for a trip to Mexico . He had told Edna that he had always wanted to go there, but had left without telling her. Edna was hurt, mostly when she realized that he would not be able to write her. She made her feelings for Robert clear, talking to everyone who would listen, even her husband.
Soon after Roberts's departure, Edna meets Alcee Arobin. She spends a lot of time with, teaching him about the horse races and how to win money. They go out to breakfast together and soon become more intimately involved. Edna and Alcee start a relationship, but she can't help feel like she is cheating, and feel like she has betrayed her love. No were not talking about her husband Leonce, she feels like she had betrayed Robert.
When Robert comes back he hears of what has been going on, but there relationship goes no further. When Edna realizes that she had made the wrong chose to marry Leonce, that she had only done it because she thought she was right. She realizes that she will never be with the man she loved. That Robert did not want to go against the way of there time. She decides to do the only thing she thinks she can.
“She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again.” Edna thought the only way to escape society was the ocean. She used the ocean to escape everything that is going on in the world. She swims so far out her legs and arms get numb. All her problems where gone after that last breath.

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