Conformity In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

1625 Words7 Pages
Zoe Glore AP English Mr. Frederick November 8, 2014 2005: In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899), protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to posses “This outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions.” In a novel or play that you have studied, identify a character that outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Then write an essay in which you analyze how this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning contributes to the meaning of the work. Avoid mere plot summary. I’ll just runaway As children, one will wish to runaway from home at least once. These problems are often thought as something that can just be left behind, but perhaps that’s merely the perception of the matter at the time. People constantly…show more content…
If it was not evident in earlier scenes, it is now clear that Biff in no salesman. He has been “talking in a dream” pretending to be something he is not. This is an inner conflict that Biff has been wrestling with for years now. He now comes to realize the he’s unhappy and he’s only conforming to this harsh, man-eating profession to please his father. This once inner conflict soon becomes an outward conflict between Biff and Willy. Willy has a particular standards which he holds Biff to. Willy wishes for his eldest to be a salesman, as himself, absent-mindedly forgetting that his other son, Happy, has completed such a task and became the one thing he wanted for Biff. Willy is quite critical of Biff’s life choices, seeing them as failures, while Willy is losing his worldly possessions, his family and even his health because of said profession. Willy, himself, conformed rather than following his brother to Alaska, Africa or anywhere else. It is not fully evident whether Willy resents this missed opportunity or merely accepts it. He appears to be excited for his brother and his adventures unknowing of the way he will later crush Biff’s dreams to do the same: Ben. Why boys, when I was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. [He laughs.] And by God I was…show more content…
He had all the wrong dreams. All, all wrong. […] He never knew who he was. Charley. [stopping Happy’s movement and reply. To Biff] Nobody dast blame this man. You don’t understand: Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to this life… (111) Once Willy is gone, his family and friend discuss the life in which Willy led. They discuss both the good and the bad. Biff has come to realize what kind of man his father was and Willy’s faults. Very few show up to the funeral. Once Willy dies, Linda is now able to pay off their house and their appliances. The problems they had while he was alive are now gone. Willy and Biff can no longer fight, Linda no longer has to keep him from killing himself, their bills are paid: his problems truly did die with him. Although it appears all his problems are solved, Willy still ran away from them: [There is no answer. Linda waits. Biff gets up off his bed. He is still in his clothes. Happy sits up. Biff stands listening] Linda [with real fear]. Willy, answer me!

More about Conformity In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Open Document