The Awakening Essay Research Paper Edna

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The Awakening Essay, Research Paper Edna ? A Woman Ahead of Her Time Playing the role of a wealthy New Orleans housewife, Edna searches for fulfillment in her conventional 19th century life of a woman. I mention playing the role because you will discover that playing a part is all that she is doing. Even with children, a generous husband, and financial stability, Edna finds herself wanting more from life. She is a woman ahead of her time. Buried within her soul, she uncovers a great hunger for knowledge and a need for personal independence. The spell of a generic happiness lifts, and Edna awakens. She is awakened by a man/boy names Robert LeBrun. He helps her discover how much more life has to offer. At Grand Isle, the Pontellier?s summer retreat, Edna befriends a handsome,

younger, Robert LeBrun. Robert and Edna stroll along the ocean arm in arm, carry on conversations that last hours, and feel comfortable and at rest in the other?s presence. To Edna, Robert is her equal, a partner on the journey of living. With an excitement for life and good social stature, Robert appeals to Edna. He sparks something inside of her that causes her to look at herself in a different light. Edna sees that she is a living, breathing woman who has become someone that she does not want to be. She wants to create for herself a life guided by her own thoughts and feelings. She wants to be in control of her actions. One afternoon, Edna and Robert are out together when Edna becomes hot and dizzy. They stop at a friend?s cottage so that she can rest. Alone in a quiet corner

room of the cozy sea-side haven, Edna ?took off her shoes and stockings and stretched herself in the very center of the high, white bed. How luxurious it felt to rest thus in a strange, quaint bed, with its sweet country odor of laurel lingering about the sheets and mattress! She ran her fingers through her loosened hair for a while. She looked at her round arms as she held them straight up and rubbed them once after the other, observing closely, as if it were something she saw for the first time, the fine, firm quality and texture of her flesh. She clasped her hands easily above her head, and it was thus that she fell asleep?. Opening her eyes after several hours, she departs from this dreamy magical state of existence and joins Robert outside. ?How many years have I slept? The

whole island seems changed. A new race of beings must have sprung up, leaving only you and me as past relics,? she says to Robert. Robert explains to her that she has been sleeping for one hundred years and that he has been sitting outside for that length guarding her slumbers. On the island of Grand Isle and with the assistance of Robert LeBrun, Edna Pontellier awakens. She leaves the world that makes her so unhappy and joins Robert in his. When she is with Robert she lives in an imaginary world. He allows her to be the woman that she would like to be. She does not have to pretend when she is with him. This is ironic because she is living a life that really isn?t hers when she is with Robert, yet she is not pretending. She is just being who she wishes she could be. Back in New

Orleans, Edna?s awakening showers her soul, cleansing away a life of tea parties and conventions and revealing a freethinking motivated Edna Pontellier. She no longer wants to be a part of this society. She wants to be herself. Herself being someone that does not fit the standards of the Creole society. Driven by her independence, she packs her belongings and moves from the marble mansion she once called home to a small apartment that truly is her home. Edna?s husband, who is away on business the majority of the time, believes that his wife is mentally unstable and even asks his doctor friend to look in on her. In his opinion she is not acting like a proper Creole woman should act. He has given her everything that she could ask for yet she is not happy. There must be something