Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" Edna's feelings of being traped explained.

Essay by dopyomanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2004

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Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening simply summarized is a women's novel about empowering women in the 19th century. The story opens as Edna Pontellier is vacationing with her husband, Leonce, and their children at the cottages of Madame Lebrum. Leonce is constantly away, due to business, and is continuously preoccupied with work. This leads to Edna spending most of her time with her friend, Adele Ratignolle, whose friendship started the awakening process in Edna. This is the narrative hook, opening the entire basis of the book to that of Edna's self-discovery. In this novel Edna seems to bee trapped both by her culture and by her internal psychological makeup.

In the begging Edna seems to be a normal 19th century mother. Later her marital situation is observable through her interaction with her husband; it is possible to see that the relationship, at least on her side, is not a particularly loving one.

The pair seem more accustomed to one another than anything else; Leonce Pontellier, Edna's husband, regarding her 'as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property. Deep inside her is the need to escape and be free from her obligations as a wife and mother. She has always possessed this independent and ferocious attitude and felt trapped by her family. It was only when Edna met and became friends with Adele and Madameoiselle Reisz that she was able to realize why she was unhappy and what was missing in her life.

The culture around her dictates how one should act, much like a novice in a game. Everything from the way she should raise her OWN children to how she should respond and think. When she tried to explain her views on parenting saying that she would give all her money and even her life for...