Edna Pontellier's Journey Of Self-Discovery In The Awakening

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Edna Pontellier is on a journey of self discovery in The Awakening. Edna is expected by society to be a conventiotial Creole wife, though – much to her own dismay – feels out of place in the world around her. The same can be said of J.D Salinger’s protagonist, Holden Claufield, who struggles to adapt to adulthood and the ‘Phonieness’ he believes adulthood involves. Both Edna and Holden, then, feel alienated from the world around them. However, both narratives describe the characters’ respective struggles to find meaning in that alien world, and establish an identity within it. Both characters to some extent, then ultimately come to terms with their worlds. Edna finds both solace and desire in Robert Lebrun: ‘No multitude of words could have been more significant than those moments of…show more content…
Holden’s perception of phoniness causes him to become critical and suspicious and detaches him from society. His relationship with June whom he meets midway through his journey of discovery fails to flourish because he cannot commit fully to her he refuses altogether the ‘phoniness’ of a partial commitment. Holden does not know how to make a connection without becoming phony himself. In the end however holder comes to a accommodation with the world and this change is seen especially in the last pages when he describes his affection for phoebe: ‘…I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth. I don’t know why. It was just that she looked so damn nice, the way she kept going around and around, in her blue coat and all. God, I wish you could have been there.’ By the end then Holden seems even to consider the reader a potential friend (‘I wish you could have been there’). both Edna and holder are on journey in a world from which they are both alienated, Holden however comes to terms with the world by the end; Edna however does

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