Sunday, August 4, 2019

feminaw Suicide as the Only Alternative for Edna Pontellier in The Awakening :: Chopin Awakening Essays

Suicide as the Only Alternative in The Awakening   Ã‚   In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the principal character, Edna decides to kill herself rather than to live a lie. It seemed to Kate that the time of her own death was the only thing remaining under her control since society had already decided the rest of her life for her.   Edna was a woman of the wrong times; she wanted her independence and she wanted to be with her lover, Robert.   This type of behavior would never be accepted by the society of her time.   Edna's relationship with Robert, and her rejection of the role dictated to her by society, resulted in her perceiving suicide to be the only solution to her problems.    Critics of Kate Chopin's The Awakening tend to read the novel as the dramatization of a woman's struggle to achieve selfhood--a struggle doomed failure either because the patriarchal conventions of her society restrict freedom, or because the ideal of selfhood that she pursue is a masculine defined one that allows for none of the physical and undeniable claims which maternity makes upon women. Ultimately. in both views, Edna Pontellier ends her life because she cannot have it both ways: given her time, place, and notion of self, she cannot be a mother and have a self. (Simons)      Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Edna Pontellier could not have what she wanted.   There are many arguments about Edna being selfish for ending her life and leaving her children behind.   "Edna does indeed dread 'being reduced to her biological function, 'but this is what the Creole culture does to women , as Priscilla Leder suggests" (Simons).  Ã‚   She could not offer the love that children deserve from a parent.   I do not feel that she was selfish, she did not love her children the way a mother-woman would.   A mother-woman is someone who puts her children before anything else in her life.   Edna is not one of those "mother-women" who "esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels"; she is, rather a twenty-eight-year-old woman who hears 'the voice of the sea,' which seduces 'the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in inward contemplation'." (Toth)   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Edna needed to be in control of her life.   As long as she was married and a mother she would never have total control.

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