Saturday, August 3, 2019

Freedom :: essays research papers fc

Freedom? Kate Chopin's The Awakening is a story of Edna Pontellier, wife and mother. It is a novel about the choices one will makes to protect one's personal freedom. The story is based on a time in history when women did just what they were expected to do. They were expected to be good daughters, good wives, and good mothers. A woman was expected to move from the protection of her father's roof to the protection of her husband. Edna, our protagonist, doesn’t fit this mold. She searches to find her place in a constraining society, one that doesn’t allow for a woman to have freedom. Personal freedom is freedom from the confines of society, oneself, and finally freedom within one’s soul. As the book begins, Edna is a married woman who seems vaguely satisfied with her life, and cannot find true happiness. She is bound by the confines of a loveless marriage, unfulfilled, unhappy, and locked away like a caged bird. During her summer at Grand Isle she is confronted with herself in her truest nature, and she is swept away by passion and love for someone she cannot have, Robert Lebrun. She begins to realize that she can play roles other than wife and mother. We watch as she struggles to determine how to act on the things she is feeling, the eternal conflict she is dealing with. She wants to understand her need for personal freedom, a freedom that questions conventional demands of both men and women. We watch in the novel as Edna finds her freedom initially in the ocean. In the beginning she does not know how to swim, but she learns and through this learning feels what it is like to have freedom. In the water she is not captive and held down by the world around her. She sees she is capable of doing this on her own, that she is strong and powerful and independent. Edna’s self-discovery awakens her, and she is able to greet her own soul, a soul filled with passion, sexuality, and strength. The images of nature, which serve as a symbol for freedom of the soul, are brought about when Edna speaks of growing up on a Mississippi plantation where life was simple, blissful, and peaceful. Edna remembers life when she was young, engulfed in nature and freedom, â€Å"The hot wind beating in my face made me think-without any connection that I can trace-of a summer day in Kentucky, of a meadow that seemed as big as the ocean to the very little girl walking through the grass, which was higher than her waist.

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