The《Awakening》gave me the deepest feeling that life is not easy, and people should cherish their lives. And another thoughts is to follow your heart no matter what you do. In this novel, I first felt just bored, because it was not as appealing as science fiction. However, as I read more and more, I found that every article and principle of this novel is expressed beautifully, in short and concise sentences. In addition, the novel also made me think about my life.
First of all, the heroine Edna moved me profoundly when she did not yield to the traditional society that restrained her and was truly loyal to her feelings and soul. Second, for Edna, the existence of Robert is very important, because he is the one who awakens her soul, but also makes her realize the “social bondage” and “cruel reality” he escapes at the last moment, choosing to be bound by traditional social values. Though Robert was always a man of public opinion, his presence was important, for without him there would have been no awakening for Edna. I sympathize with Edna because she never got the love she wanted, and at the same time, she was plagued with mundane matters and unable to pursue her own pleasure.
The story begins at Grade Isle, a vacation spot of wealthy Creoles from New Orleans. Edna is there with her two sons and her husband Leonce who comes and goes because of business. Edna has never felt like she fits in with their lifestyle. Edna has always done what is expected of a woman of her time, including marrying a man she did not love. He regards her as a possession rather than an individual. While on vacation, Edna falls in love with Robert Lebrun. She often went to the beach with him. She began to realize for the first time, at age 28, that she is so distressed that she returns to Grand Isle where she goes swimming in the cold sea. Purposely she swims out too far and drowns herself. Edna broke away from worldly annoyances and went to embrace the sea. What a resolution to leave her husband she didn’t love, and leave the covertly lover, and also leave her children. The demands of the secular society, the duty of being a wife and mother were all abandoned by the soul searching for herself. Life and love are precious but they can be discarded for the sake of freedom.
Contemporary society does not have the male and female inferiority thinking, but the old society had been completely different. The language used in the novel usually includes French and some slang, which helps the reader to experience the circumstances. In my mind, there is a confused married woman who is full of desire for life, but her soul is always bound by the trivialities of her life. After awakening, she chose to give up life and the sea became her destination.
Edna’s life actually mirrors our lives, but everyone will have different choices in their own lives. Each of us will experience setbacks and perhaps our lives will be shattered in the future, but please find the goodness, kindness and respect in the world and give thanks for life.