The Awakening

“The Awakening” by Kate Chopin

In “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin Edna refuses to sacrifice herself for her children” or anyone in that matter, yet, in the end commits suicide sacrificing her life not for her children, but in reality for her own self.  

Edna Pontellier is a married woman with two children staying at Grand Isle for the summer. She is surrounded by Creole women and expected to act and behave like one too, although she has an obvious distaste for them. Edna’s relationship with her husband lacks passion and excitement and she even implies that marrying him was a mistake. Creole women center their life around their families which is what Edna is also expected to do, but in reality doesn’t. Her two children are always with their babysitters and it appears as though Edna neglects them and prefers things that way. The family life is not fit for her, it’s not what she expected and she doubts she even wants a family. Her friend Mademoiselle Reiz is a big, influential character in the story. She is unmarried, has no children, and devotes her life to her music. She represents what Edna wants in life, independence, freedom, and passion. Edna wants to be free of her responsibilities, including her husband and children although she never admits it. “Their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed and for which Fate had not fitted her.” (Page28) This quote proves that Edna feels more at ease when her children are away. She might miss them, but not like a mother normally would. This quote even makes people question whether Edna should even be considered a mother. She doesn’t take care of them; she only takes care of herself. Edna wasn’t even a wife to her husband either. “She perceived that her will had blazed up, stubborn and resistant. She could not at that moment have done other than denied and resisted. She wondered if her husband had ever spoken to...