The Awakening Essay: Ednas Development

581 Words3 Pages
Plot has many facets. It has its conventional definition, the plot patterns everyday people are used to in novels, movies, etc.. But there is a deeper meaning to plot, and it is shown in The Awakening. In it, one encounters a plot element which is internal in its events, and results in outward actions, which is contrasted from conventional plot. Edna’s development as an independent woman, her reinvigorated sexual appetite, and her determination to break away from societal norms and be free are all internal events which result in the literal events of the novel; they are the plot. Edna comes to detest the treatment which she is given from her husband, Leonce, and wishes to live on her own and unbound by the “expectations” of womanhood pinned upon her. The primary influence of these internal happenings is Mademoiselle Reisz. When Edna witnesses her piano playing, she is enthralled and moved, and comes to idolize the aged musician. Reisz’s effect on Edna is even more apparent by the reader’s witnessing of how Reisz sees a younger version of herself in Edna. Edna’s desire for independence is the driving force of all her subsequent actions and realizations. It fueled the entire premise for the novel. Second to Edna’s desire for independence is her renewed sexual appetite. In the case of Alcee Arobin, there is absolutely no love there. The significance of Arobin in the plot exists only because of Edna’s appetite and even more importantly, from her love for Robert. This love is appealing to Edna both because it is true and because a relationship with Robert, in Edna’s eyes, would free her from societal norms that bind her, and would help her find the happiness which she is searching for throughout the novel. Arobin simply becomes a medium for her desires for robert, and bears no real significance in Edna’s heart. The acts of her adultery with Arobin do not drive the
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