Edna's Metamorphosis

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Edna's Metamorphosis In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the central character, Edna Pontellier, upon questioning her roles as a wife and mother, begins to show signs of her metamorphosis as an individual.

First of all, Edna Pontellier begins to question her role as a mother to her two children. Because her husband is the sole provider for the family, he believes that it is "a mother's place to look after children"¦" (Awakening 13). Accordingly, Edna is positioned as caretaker, whose responsibility is to "[stay] at home to see that no harm [befalls] them" (Awakening 13). Not only does this bridle her other aspirations in life, but this expectancy also creates a sterile environment. Never wanting to be "reproached for [her] inattention or habitual neglect of the children"¦" (Awakening 13), Edna watches over them. However, this role as a simple caretaker weakens the bond. For example, while her children are away for the summer with the grandmother, Edna "[seems] free of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed"¦" (Awakening 33).

Instead of developing a nurturing and loving atmosphere, Edna is "fond of her children in an uneven, impulsive way" (Awakening 33).

Finally, Edna Pontellier begins to examine her role as a wife. While she is showered with gifts by her husband and is "forced to admit that she [knows] of none better"¦" (Awakening 15) Edna nonetheless reveals dissatisfaction. While Mr. Pontellier may provide her with any material needs, it becomes apparent that he looks at "his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of property"¦" (Awakening 7). This, compounded by the fact that her marriage to "Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident"¦" (Awakening 32), forces Edna to reanalyze her current situation. Ultimately, Edna begins to realize that while "his absolute devotion [flatters] her"¦" (Awakening 32), "an indescribable oppression [fills] her whole being with a vague anguish"¦" (Awakening 14). It looks as if Edna will act upon her realization and attempt to free herself from this role as Pontellier's wife.

In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the central character, Edna Pontellier, upon questioning her roles as a wife and mother, begins to show signs of her metamorphosis as an individual. Essentially, Edna begins to "realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her" (Awakening 25). However, will Edna's likely transformation fulfill her, or will she realize that her current situation is best?