“The Awakening” Personal Response

For me, “The Awakening” is one of the rare books that can make my attitude and thought toward the main character – Edna change a lot due to the plot of this novel. The whole novel, to me, is the process of building up the character Edna. Every detail of it contributes a piece of Edna, so that after the book, I can stop, and let myself calm down, think thoroughly about Edna. Edna at the beginning is an Edna somehow sweet and elegant. One Edna that is shy, like a fish out of water among the conversations of French mix with Americans culture, one Edna that is cheerful and energetic swimming in water. I thought that she may not be a good mother when she does not take a good care of her children, but she is acceptable. Because no one is perfect, even Mr. Pontellier forgot to bring bonbon back when he is a figure for a good man. However, the piece of panicking Edna when Robert leaves brings me a mixed feeling, somehow angry when she is not loyal to her marriage, to her family, somehow sympathetic with the feeling of missing the beloved one. At that time, I hope that Edna will get out of her depression soon, be back with the life she was belong to. To me, it is understandable to have a crush on someone other than the partner, but it is important to get over it, to be faithful to the relationship, to family; because family is not only love, family is responsible, is gratitude. Opposite with what I hope, Edna immerses in her “freedom”. Each of her actions disappoints me more and more. From when she replies to Arobin based on her instinct, to when she moves out of the big house, where has the memories of her family. This character raises a question in me, why don’t she think what is enough. A family with a husband who takes care her with all his ability, two children who loves their mom, a life with servants, no worry about money, is not enough? Because it does not bring to her heart the touch of love? So that, why she still accepts Arobin for her instincts? Because Robert is love, and Arobin is a “flaming torch”, and they are different? At that point, I understand why Edna does that, but there is no more sympathy for her, her actions are not acceptable to me. After all, Edna at the ending brings to me a different sense. I feel more sympathetic with her, because she chooses to sacrifice her life for the honor of her children, of Mr Pontellier. The quote when she said she can give the children her life but not herself becomes foreshadowing. Edna wants to be selfish the last time in her life, even though the price of it is her life.

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2 thoughts on ““The Awakening” Personal Response”

  1. These questions make me think a lot. Edna is an independent woman. She has different thinking of love. As you say, what is the different between Arobin and Robert? For her, the love is very different. So her love to Robert is different with Arobin

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