Literary Theory: Psychoanalysis in Kate Chopin's the Awakening

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Literary Theory: Psychoanalysis In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna experiences feelings that she has never felt before in her life. She finds that the life she lives is quite dull, and she begins to rebel against her husband, and her society’s standards for women’s behavior. These feelings can be explained by psychoanalysis, which involves the unconscious, the desires, and the defenses. Edna feels no love for her husband, and she feels that she is kind of like a caged bird, held down by her husband and her role and a mother and a wife. As an act of rebellion, Edna starts being very flirtatious with other men: She only looked at him and smiled. His eyes were very near. He leaned upon the lounge with an arm extended across her, while the other hand still rested upon her hair. They continued silently to look into each other's eyes. When he leaned forward and kissed her, she clasped his head, holding his lips to hers. It was the first kiss of her life to which her nature had really responded. It was a flaming torch that kindled desire (219). Edna cheats on her husband, but she does not feel remorse or shame. Her actions (if psychoanalyzed) were caused by her unconscious desires, fears, needs, and conflicts. Edna does not get what she wants from her husband, but she is only somewhat aware of how much she needs from another man. When Edna kisses Alcée, she does not kiss him out of love. It’s her animalistic desires that she’s acting upon, but she isn’t initially aware of it. She feels incredibly sexually attracted to Alcée, which is a feeling that she has not felt in a very long time. Edna’s sadness was buried deep inside her, linked with the displacement of her desire to upset her father. Edna married Léonce to upset her father because Léonce was of a different religion. But later, Edna realizes that marrying someone to make her father unhappy has
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