Love And Morality In The Awakening

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Sereana Botebote Professor Ned Williams ENG 251 Research Critique Paper March 27th, 2012 Love and Morality in Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’ Edna Pontellier is a woman with tremendous need who is married with two children and a loving husband who cares for her, yet she is not happy with what she has. The novel ‘The Awakening’ was written in the 1890’s and is one of Chopin’s short novels. The story reflects Edna’s want or what can be called need. The story opens in Grand Isle, a hotel where wealthy people of New Orleans go for vacation. The Pontellier family is on vacation. Edna Pontellier and her time spent with Robert is the climax of the novel. Is love something that we can get away with? Is love a friend or an enemy? Does love have a barrier? These questions arise personally after reading the novel ‘The Awakening’. To quote E. Jones, “Moral attitude towards others is substituted for an attitude of love”(5). The quote describes more of Edna who is a mother and a wife to one of the wealthiest Creole men in New Orleans, and during her time period having a family is part of societal expectations. Edna’s character abandons her role as a mother and wife; she breaks moral values and standards because of the intimate love affair she shares with Robert, therefore leading to the struggles she faces in the novel where she failed. Moral characters say more about a person than the background of an individual and play an important role in one’s life. When disregarded it can bring shame and conflict to a family differentiating a person to be good or bad. The concept of good and evil differs from one person to another, but certainly, a married woman who loves another man apart from her husband and acts upon that love is sinful. When the story begins Chopin’s description of Edna makes it look like she is the antagonist of the novel, when Mr. Pontellier was sitting on the
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