Edna Pontellier's Choice In The Awakening

1362 Words6 Pages
Throughout the Awakening, the direction of the plot fluxuates based on the choices made by the characters. Of all the characters, none make choices as drastic as Edna Pontellier. Her decision to turn away from her husband defines her as one of the rarest types of women in that time period. The American society of that time was not used to seeing a woman even think of leaving her husband, which is what made this such a controversial novel. Robert Lebrun realizes that his love for Edna will come at an expensive price and is forced to come decide if he will let a family be torn apart in the name of love. As Edna spends her summer at the Grand Isle, she becomes extremely close with Robert. The fact that he treats her with respect and…show more content…
She realizes that she has never truly been intimate with another person. The idea of it seems exhilarating and necessary for her “awakening” which is her becoming her true self. She feels since she’s been married, she has been sleeping and in order for her to wake up, she must take control of her life and do what she wants. It is around this time when she realizes that she feels some intimacy between her and Robert. Hearing Mademoiselle Reiszs music and swimming for the first time also aid in her awakening. The music gives her a feeling that she had never quite felt before. She sees it as more than just a song on the piano, but more of a vivid experience. When they go to the lake later, she swims successfully for the first time. This experience makes her feel joyful and accomplished. Being able to do something she never had before makes her feel more “awake” and she enjoys the…show more content…
The Creole society of that time did not take affairs lightly. It was possible that they would be looked down upon for the rest of their lives or even disowned from their families. He is also surprised and somewhat threatened by her newfound independence. When Edna gets home from Madame Adele’s house, she finds a note from Robert saying that he loves her deeply but their relationship cannot be. Edna stays awake literally and figuratively; the awakening Robert has begun in her consumes her as she comes to some harsh realizations. When she turns up at the Grand Isle, it is undeniable that she needs rest. She decides to go out by herself and begin swimming out. She goes further and further and begins thinking about her family and her childhood. At first Robert seemed to be somebody that understood her fully and completely. However by the end of the story, he doesn’t truly understand her. She realizes this and decides that she will never be truly
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