The Awakening Edna 2 — страница 2

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Mademoislle Reisz has in abundance the autonomy that Adele completely lacks. But Reisz’s life lacks love, while Adele abounds in it. Mademoiselle Reisz’s loneliness makes clear that an adequate life cannot build altogether upon autonomy. Although she has a secure sense of her own individuality and autonomy, her life lacks love, friendship, or warmth. What Edna chooses for her identity is a combination of Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz. More honest in self-awareness than Adele, more dependent on human relationships than Reisz. In The Awakening the woman’s existance intertwines with her maternal nature. Edna’s sense of herself as a complete person makes impossible her role of wife and mother as defined by her society; yet she discovers that her role of mother also

makes impossible her continuing development as an autonomous individual. So her thoughts as she walks into the sea comment profoundly on the identity problems that women face: “She thought of Leonce and the children. They were a part of her life. But they need not have thought that they could possess her, body and soul”. Unable to have a full human existence, Edna chooses to have none at all. 330