In the 19th century, the period of Edna Pontellier, the protagonist, the place of a woman in the society was restricted to the worship of her children and submission to her husband. Kat Chopin’s book, “The Awakening”, covers the triumphs and frustrations in the life of a woman as she tries to cope with these harsh cultural demands. Edna resists the stereotype of being a “mother-woman” and fights the stress of the 1899 that forces her to be devoted and subdued to his housewife (Klages 34). While the decisive suicide of Edna is a waste of their fight against a cruel society, this novel encourages and supports feminism as a way for women to get individual identity, financial independence and sexual liberty.
Feminism is usually considered as a tool for teaching the public on the women’s rights. It educates the society that the woman is the same as the man in every society and civil accord. Understanding that this may not always be the case, Charlotte Bunch, the 1970s lesbian feminist, described feminism as viewing the world. She saw this as the domination of issues and a questioning of power (Ward 56). A lot of feminist tried to bulrush the principle of conventional women discourage the people who understand the standards. Scholars of feminism also try to transform and question endocentric scheme of thought that out the mane as the standard. They attempt to abolish and inspect biases in a world inhabited by intolerant men who view women as creatures who cannot think and who are not equal to men. Other women publicize their extraordinary personalities, economic well being and intellect of the people who are against them. A woman must explain the impending jaunts and present herself. However, Edna cannot prove her right of equality; she simply becomes who she wants to be without any explanation and without any regret.
Edna demonstrates her duty as feminists in a number of ways. She informs Ratignolle that she would never surrender her children for any person. She said that she was willing to give her possessions and her life for her children. This demonstrates Edna’s speculation that if she surrenders her soul, the base of her maturity and what she positions for life and survival and her position in the world will be done, and she may flow away into the Gulf of unity. The author has offered Edna a central sight. Edna starts to look for what is to be and not what may be feminine, but simple (Ward 59). Edna has belief in her as sturdy person and strives to obtain her opinions and sexuality, strongly imposing the feminist belief to closely discover the body and mind. While there are a number of distinct descriptions of feminism, it is irrefutable that feminism concerns the women’s labors to define them as fervent equals to men, and not simply truthful dogs that pad loyally on the master’s heels.
Edna’s suicide is the ill-fated drawback of the feminist literature. Edna’s deeds totally dishonor the organization of feminism. Despite of her aptitude to leave her husband, to venture into her own life, and buy her own house, Edna does not possess a significant factor in the thinking of a feminist. She understands that if she cannot get all that she needs at once, her life and her expedients are insignificant and worthless. After Robert goes to Mexico, Edna feels that Robert’s absence had brought some darkness; the meaning of everything had been lost in her. As she creditably unravels herself from the grasps of her husband’s traditions, she unquestionably wraps herself on another person’s needs and dedicating herself for them.
Definitely Feminism condones these deeds. In fact, feminism requires a woman to be self-reliant. A woman ought to be egotistical and care for herself and not depend on the thoughts and minds of other people. A woman has the ability to love, but she cannot let her life spin around the life of another person, where she may brutally pull back to a cruel reality. Edna had not interest in anything concerning herself because she could hardly understand this idea; she failed to uphold her femininity completely. After Robert had left her, she felt that there was nothing in the world that she had a craving. She then forces herself into understanding that life is repetitive, a constant flow of disappointments (Showalter 87). She also finds out that there is no language that can express her awakening, therefore, confusing her into the belief that she cannot explain her deeds. She believes that her deeds are foolish actions that may want to defend, but can hardly support them. In the story of “Awakening” Edna becomes increasingly passive and depressed towards life because of incapability to articulate herself and her conviction that she ought to be miserable for the rest of her life unless she what exactly she needs. Chopin argued that there were times when she felt sad, and it hardly seemed worthwhile to be sorry or glad, alive or dead (McManus 51). Obsessed with these sensible thoughts, Edna is the bird that has the broken wing. While her endeavor to free herself from a harsh are reputable, her ultimate suicide is a terrible waste of her fight and confronts essence of feminism.
One of the most inspiring ways that Edna illustrates her self-reliance is how she manages to hold up herself economically. Through a timely inheritance and a reincarnation of her passion for literature, the author puts Edna it the self-dependency world where she takes charge and does not depend on any person. Edna labored tirelessly throughout the story to get her liberty and sexuality, in spite of any outcome that she may have faced in the world. Edna is a budding rose; the essence of loveliness, promising self-confidence and trustworthy superiority.
Assuming her husband and a new wave of uncovering herself is another essential part of the feminist qualities in the “Awakening”. The author demonstrates through Edna that she understands that marriage devoid of love is not healthy for a woman. Edna said to her husband, “Go away, you disturb me, moving against all the social rules of time”. Since the start of the nineteenth century, women were expected to obey, worship and love their husbands regardless of anything. It was just recently, past the period of the twentieth century that women were expected to devote and adore their lives to their husbands.
The initial signs of Edna’s disappearance from the society that would ultimately change her into the contentious lifestyle are the first chapters of the novel. In spite of the purity of the condition, her original relationship with Robert offered her a taste of life that she had never relished in her life. There is clarity that she would never go back to the normal housewife that she had lived for six years.
The play of birds is a central part in Edna’s imagery awakening. From the first chapters of the novel, the parrots that were imprisoned began to scream. These screams illuminate Edna’s endeavors to talk to her husband and the community she starts to set up herself as a sovereign individual. The parrot also illustrates Edna as the book begins. She is like an animal in a cage willing to attain freedom, but barred by the barriers of culture (McManus 53). One of the bird symbols is Alcee A-robin. His name A-robin means that he is a bird that moves from one nest to another. He may not be in search of love; he is looking for his sexuality. Alcee is speaking in a way that shocks her at the first instance, but also unveils an anew world for him. Edna values the lifestyle of Alcee, which is free as that of a bird, doing whatever his heart desires. Edna wished that she would live the life of Alcee such that she would glide in the skies with a conduct of peace, liberation and sophistication. Edna’s sexuality was also changed by their transitory affair. Edna talks of her earliest kiss with Alcee as her first kiss that had gotten a response from nature.
Klages, Mary. “What is Feminism (and why do we have to talk about it so much)?” December 8,
McManus, Barbara F. “Characteristics of a Feminist Approach.” December 8, 2001.
Showalter, Elaine. The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980.
New York, NY: Pantheon Books, November 1985.
Ward, Jennifer A. “Deconstruction or Feminist Critique?” December 9, 2001