the awakening critical analysis

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The following paragraphs will make a critical analysis about the novel by Kate Chopin titled The Awakening (1899). The analysis will attempt to draw the relationships between the story and women’s concerns during this period of time. The paper will use the literary elements of the story and make a relationship with the life of women during that time. The literary elements reviewed in this paper are the plot, characters, style and symbolism. The plot revolves around Edna Pontellier and the awakening of her sexuality, feelings of love and desire of independence which were triggered by key events that happen during the story. Edna is the wife of Leonce Pontellier, a traditional, conservative and successful businessman from New Orleans. Leonce and Edna have two children. When they go on vacation to a seaside resort in Louisiana, Edna meets a young man called Robert Lebrun. During this summer vacation, Robert and Edna spend a lot of time together talking, going on boat rides, and walking. Eventually, their friendship becomes a romantic attraction and Edna realizes that there were many dormant emotions and feelings, which now were awakened by her relationship with Robert. When Edna and her family returned home, drastic changes happened in Edna’s life due to her desire to change and be free. Moreover, thanks in part to an affair with Alcee Robin, Edna leaves Leonce and moves away in hopes to meet with Robert after he comes back form a business trip to Mexico. When Edna and Robert meet again, their relationship does not flourish because Robert could not express his true feelings towards Edna, perhaps because internally, he could not accept having an affair, and go against his family values and ideologies which were very traditional to the French Creole community of the time. As a result, they don’t end up together, however Robert does reveal his feelings later on
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