Edna is fighting against the societal and natural structures of motherhood that force her to be defined by her title as wife of Leonce Pontellier and mother of Raoul and Etienne Pontellier, instead of being her own, self-defined individual. This is the kind of awakening that impresses the reader in Mrs. Pontellier have retreated to their summer home, located on Grand Isle, just south of New Orleans. In French his name means a rudder, a tiller, with the implication that he is someone who knows the direction, who understands where things are headed. The trip to Cheniere Caminada is a turning point in the novel. She does not believe that total isolation is something that will be healthy for Edna, and does not want her to lose touch with all of her old life. The novel was begun in 1897 and completed on January 21, 1898.
Chopin's own life, particularly in terms of having her own sense of identity—aside from men and her children—inspired The Awakening. He is obsessed with making money and with acquiring expensive possessions for his home. In the Creole society the men are dominant. The fact that readers do not like the ending, that they struggle to make sense of it, is reflected in the body of criticism on the novel: almost all scholars attempt to explain the suicide. Edna Pontellier, as the title suggests is a complex psychological portrait with traits and actions more thoroughly understood through psychological observation and analysis. She would sometimes gather them passionately to her heart; she would sometimes forget them.
This conflict leads her to eventually grow depressed and aware that she will never be completely able to escape the expectations laid upon her. As a result she commits acts that would be unthinkable for most women of the day including taking a place of her own, leaving her children and husband, and keeping a lover. Nora is treated like a child by Torvald, but she is accustomed to it and believes he loves her dearly. Mademoiselle Reisz has an artistic temperament. However, through these affairs Edna also discovers that no matter which man she is with, there is no escape from the general oppression women face; Edna's society has no place for a woman like her, as she must either be an exemplary housewife and mother like Adèle Ratignolle or an isolated outsider like Mademoiselle Reisz.
Edna, however, finds both role models lacking and begins to see that the life of freedom and individuality that she wants goes against both society and nature. Mademoiselle Reisz focuses her life on music and herself instead of on society's expectations, acting as a foil to Adèle Ratignolle, who encourages Edna to conform. It is still popular in many high schools and college classrooms. When they fall in love, Robert senses the doomed nature of such a relationship and flees to Mexico under the guise of pursuing a nameless business venture. Edna, unwilling to face the difficulties of being the courageous artist, uses the water to escape and temporarily forget. Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal's large database of academic articles is completely free. It contains updated bibliographies, and it retains its authoritative text, its footnotes, its selections from 1899 reviews, and over two dozen excerpts describing biographical and historical contexts.
Her primary trait is her extraordinary musical talent, which she, in contrast to Adele, cultivates only for herself. As the devoted wife of a man who worshipped her, she felt she would take her place with a certain dignity in the world of reality, closing the portals forever behind her upon the realm of romance and dreams. I have given a key underneath so that it is possible to differentiate each point. However, the letter from beginning to end is nothing but Edna. This conflict is never fully resolved. Upon returning to New Orleans, Edna visits her to hear her play piano and read letters that Robert has written to her.
Aside from her husband and her father, Edna feels the pressure of social constraints from her close friend, Adele Ratignolle. Reisz refuses to ever swim, demonstrating that she accepts the challenges of living day to day in a society where she is deemed an outcast, but in a situation where she can be individually happy. It is fitting that she returns to the starting point of this journey. The senses and the sorrows and the sins, And the strange loves that suck the breasts of Hate Till lips and teeth bite in their sharp indenture, Followed like beasts with flap of wings and fins. While the Pontellier family are vacationing at the resort Edna teaches herself how to swim.
As the main protagonist, Edna undergoes a significant change in attitude, behavior, and overall character throughout the course of the novel, as she becomes aware of and examines the private, unvoiced thoughts that constitute her true self. She was born Katherine O'Flaherty in Missouri, and later married Oscar Chopin in 1870. The passage opens with a description of the sea and the sky on that particular day. Both women often challenged conventional societal methods within their works, which inherently caused these literary geniuses to write in complete secrecy. But Edna Pontellier is not defeated by Robert. She is not from Louisiana and did not grow up a Roman Catholic.
Every step which she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. In metaphorical terms, Edna is able to appreciate the music and art that Mlle Reisz exposes her to, but does not have the capability or determination to be an artist herself. Eventually she goes as far as exploring the freedom of death as she commits suicide, further challenging the behavior of women in her time. However, Edna discovers that she wants more out of life; something about her marriage is not allowing her to achieve fulfil. It seems the song was written about 1859. Edna meets with Madame Ratignolle again, to see her while she is in labor.
Edna attempts to find self-definition by creating a third lifestyle option and beginning to act like a man. Her pursuit of music is her ultimate passion, and many admire her incredible talent, but her companions in this vacation spot have a hard time relating to her single-minded and unconventional pursuit and ostracize her because of it. Several include background readings, critical comments, bibliographies of scholarly articles and books, Chopin short stories, and other materials. That she married him not because there are none better, but because there are also none worse. She is out of her Kentucky or Mississippi Presbyterian environment, out of her native element.