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Awakening Wiki


Welcome to our discussion on Kate Chopin's The Awakening.


To get things going, I have posted a question. You can reply or post questions to your peers. Do not feel you must reply to each question, but I am looking to see that all of you participate and contribute something. Let's make this fun!


In what ways does each of the three main men in Edna's life try to possess her? (Arobin, Robert, Léonce)


Be sure to "sign" your name to your response.


I have a question for the class: What kind of awakenings does Edna experience in the novel? And what casues Edna to experience her awakenings?

-zach d


well zach, Edna goes through a couple awakenings... When she swims for the first time, she discovers her own strength, and through her pursuit of her painting she is reminded of the pleasure of individual creation.


do you guys think that edna's suicide in the end was her giving up or her achieving her ultimate goal? because i can see it both ways.




I definitely think that Edna's final swim is her achieving her ultimate goal. Throughout the book her ultimate goal had been to never give herself up, never be comtrolled. Once she realized that she couldn't find a practical solution to free herself from the men in her life, (couldn't be with her true love, Robert) she decided that her only means of escape was death.



Actually, i just wrote my awakening essay about this so i can englighten everyone else! well, there could be two different ways to view this situation. one might think that this is an example of Edna achieving her ultimate goal in committing suicide because she is showing her independence and the fact that she depends on no one but herself and owes nothing to anyone but herself shows she defies society and achieves her goal. However, this is not what i believe. I believe that her killing herself is just an easy way out, a means of letting go of all the conflict that was going on within herself and outside of herself and in society. I think that she could not handle and sort out all her emotions and her feelings, so she figured that the easiest way to get out would be to kill herself.

- Noy



How do Edna's children affect her decision to kill herself?

-Harper G


I don't know if Edna's children really affect her decision to kill herself...her killing herself is based upon her own experiences with life, not through her children. She was depressed and ultimately committed suicide, that does not seem to have much to do with her children.


I believe that she killed herself because of all the pressure that she was feeling from the conflicting feelings of society and of herself. I dont think her kids had a big impact on her decision - i think it was a combination of many factors, and her kids and her assumed responsibility over them contradicted her view of how things should be. I think the role of her kids had a minor effect on her decision to kill herself, but were not the main reason.



Why do you think she was so attracted to Robert? Why did he end up liking her better than his previous "summer girls?"



Ok so to respond to Jennie I think RObert liked Edna better becuase she was different form all of teh other women. She was spontanious and liked music and wasn;t as tied to her husband as the rest of the women were.



Edna spent time actually listening to Robert and communicating with him. That would be a sign to Robert that she was into him. Plus, we aren't sure of his relationships with the other "summer girls". They could have been flings that he exaggerated to get more attention. The fact is that he really did love Edna because, despite other possibilities, he came back to her, not one of the other girls.



Good point about Robert's return, Jeff. Jennie made a point about children in answer to Harper. Do you all remember that Edna had been described once as "not a mother-woman." What is her relationship with her children like?

-Mrs. Huff


Mr. Pontellier summons the local doctor because he is aware that Edna isn't well. Do you honestly think Enda wasn't well, or did she just want out of her marriage like Newland Archer? Also, do you think Edna's children had an influence on her life? Lastly I would like to know if you would characterize Edna as a slut. Please justify you response.



Look at Mr. Jared with his literary references yet such vulgar language. I don't think Edna was honestly sick, just acting different in a way that scared Leonce. It seems that she was unhappy but unwilling to give up her marriage at first, but slowly progressed into a state of "it really doesn't matter anymore". As far as I'm concerned, her children really didn't have that much of an impact on her. They were just a vehicle with which Chopin was able to address Edna's feelings about the world. And no, Edna was not a slut. She wasn't going around, sleeping with every man she met. To me, Edna seems to have been acting on instinct with Alcee, mainly because she hadn't been with her husband for a while and she needed the physical comfort of another person. Had she have slept with Robert, we all know it would have been because he was the only person she really even cared about by the end of the novel.

Lord Geoffrey, Knght of Canterbury



I suppose Edna's suicide can be interpreted in atleast two ways. Do you think Edna's suicide at the end of the novel was a failure to complete her escape from routines or that it was her final awakening, showing independence and might that challenged the peoples' expectations? Why?

~ Mr. Steinberg



What category would you place this novel under: man vs. nature, man vs. man, nature vs. nature or something else?

~Mr. Steinberg



I found a really interesting paper that discusses the issue of Edna's suicide. The last 2 lines are really interesting. I didn't want to copy and paste it though because it said that the paper is copyrighted... so here's the address <http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/eng384/suicide.htm>

~Mr Steinberg



Interesting that you might choose that word, Jared. If Edna were a man, would we use it? I think I agree with Jeff. Edna had needs her husband didn't fulfill. She went outside the marriage to fulfill them. I have always found her relationship with Arobin troubling. If she loved Robert, why have an affair with Arobin, even though Robert made himself unavailable?


I believe this novel might be a man vs. society novel. Edna cannot conform to society. She wants to be different. She reminds me so much of Newland Archer. Thanks for posting the article link, Brian, and it was probably best to avoid copyright issues. You pose a very interesting question (your first post), and I am eager to hear what your peers will say.

-Mrs. Huff

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