The Awakening Essay Research Paper The suicide

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The Awakening Essay, Research Paper The suicide of Edna Pontellier in the novel The Awakening, written be Kate Chopin, is not an awakening but a tragic event. If one takes into consideration the emotions and pain that Edna felt they may begin to understand what it was that drew her to her own demise in the sea. It may even become clear that Edna should not be held responsible for her actions. She was in a depressed emotional state and deep inside she was calling for help. The warning signs were there. Some may view this ending as her way of beating the system or winning but for a person to kill themselves under no circumstances should be viewed in that manner. At the very beginning of the novel, there is constant reference to a caged bird. This can be considered to be a

reference to the caged life that Edna leads as a wife and mother. Edna certainly felt caged, an indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness (1652) She felt like her children had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul s slavery (1732) Edna was overcome with feelings of manic depression. Her moods changed like the tides of the sea. There were days when she was very happy without knowing why There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why, when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead (1690) People around Edna began to notice her changing moods. Like Alcee Arobin who was ready at all times to submit to her moods, which were as often kind as they were cold. (1705) It seems as though

she had emotional problems since she was a child. Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. (1657) Her mother died when she was very young. She didn t have very many friends as a child.(1660) Since she was young she had been infatuated with men that she couldn t have. A great tragedian began to haunt her imagination and stir her senses. The persistence of the infatuation lent it an aspect of genuineness. (1660) The sudden behavioral changes in Edna may have been a warning sign of problems. Leonce was concerned when he noticed the unusual behavior in Edna. It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier s mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally. (1690) He even went to speak to Doctor Mandelet about Edna s behavior. Doctor Mandelet

assured Leonce that it was a phase and it would pass if he left her alone for a while. The doctor had a suspicion that he did not tell Leonce about. Is there any man in the case? (1697) I hope to heaven it isn t Alcee Arobin. (1700) The lack of love in her life is a big contributor to her tragic fate. She did not marry Leonce, her husband, out of love. Leonce considered her more like a piece of property than a woman of her own command. He neglected her emotionally and very often caused her to cry. Frequently Leonce would leave Edna alone at the dinner table and go to the club. She was somewhat familiar with such scenes. They had often made her very unhappy. On a few previous occasions she had been completely deprived of any desire to finish her dinner. (1686) One time she became

so emotional she flung her wedding ring and tried to crush it with her boot. Leonce often went away on business trips for long periods at a time leaving Edna alone. On her 29th birthday he was away in New York.(1712) She threw a party that day but no one knew it was her birthday until she announced it. Edna is not only lacking love in her marriage, she doesn t have close ties with her family. Regarding Edna s father, she was not warmly or deeply attached to him. Edna refused to attend her sisters wedding. Her father doubted if Janet would ever speak to her again (1700) Edna s life didn t have a healthy level of intimacy and closeness. Leonce and Edna were not intimate or close like a married couple should be. In fact when she married Leonce she felt she was closing the portals