The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Personal Response:

I found this book very interesting and very honestly more enjoyable to read. Kate Chopin had written the book at the beginning like it was going to be the typical book you read about romance as if the reader will predict what’s going to happen just by reading the first few chapters. At first, I thought this book was going to be another normal and happily ever after romance book, but to my surprise, it didn’t turn out like that at all. Reading more and more of the book caught me off guard, just like when I had read Pygmalion. I thought at first that Eliza would end up with Mr.Higgins, but it didn’t happen, the same with Edna and Robert.

Being on the topic of Edan I don’t think she was a bad mother or person. Edan had always put others’ needs before her own. It had come a bit in class discussions that Edna was neglecting her children, but the children of Edna and Leonce came up briefly. When they had come up in the story it normal was when Mr. Pontellier was worried about his children. There were no signs that Edan neglected her children or that she didn’t care for her children as well. Edna in this story to me shows quite clear signs that she cares for her children and doesn’t neglect them one bit. An example of this would be in chapter three when Mr. Pontellier came home late from Klein’s Hotel. Mr. Pontellier had gotten back to the cabin and thought that Raoul was coming down with a fever, Edna in response said that he was fine and that he didn’t have a fever. At first, I had thought she was neglecting one of her kids, but after reading the text after her response, I realized that I had only thought that because Mr. Pontieller had made it seem like she was. Mr. Pontellier had thought she was a bad mother and put an image that she was even though Edna wasn’t a bad mother at all. She had been with her kids when Mr. Pontellier had left and out of the two of them, she would be the one to know if her kids were sick or not. Also, I think that if Edna didn’t care about her children I don’t think she would have held, Etienne when he was still awake while they were out. If she had not cared for her children she would have done nothing and walked passed him as if he wasn’t there.

I also think Edna received hate which I think and believe to be unfair. In the class discussion, it’s come up that she was a bad person. To me, I saw it as that she wasn’t allowed to be human and shouldn’t have her own opinions, thoughts, and wishes. Near the end of the story, Edna had finally started to do things for herself and started to put herself first, but as soon as she did she had started receiving hate. I think that Edna slowly started to realize that she wanted to start to put herself first and do things that would befit her well-being. She had no longer confined to doing things because she saw it as her duty to put everyone else first and then her second. This reminds me of Nora from the story A Doll’s House by Henrik Isben, Nora had done as she was told and acted the way her husband expected her to act. Nora later seemed to be unhappy with herself and wanted to start putting herself first, just like Edna.

This book certainly surprised me somewhere towards the middle of the book. I was very pleased reading this book and didn’t think that it would be very interesting at all if I’m being completely honest. I also had grown to sympathize with Edan after chapter four and so on, she had received so much hate and was being pinned as the bad person in this story. I think Edna had done the right thing by starting to put herself first, and even though she started putting herself first she never put herself first when it had come to her children, proving also that she does care for her children as well.

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