The Awakening written by Kate Chopin was an enjoyable read. The novel explores themes of gender roles, societal expectations, marriage, motherhood, individuality, and the limitations imposed on women during the time period. Edna, the main character persuaded emotions of sadness and emptiness while I was reading the story. However, I can also see myself relating to Enda when feeling socially pressured into fitting in.
The main message that hit me was self-ownership. The Awakening showed one woman’s desire to find and live fully within her true self. Also showing how devotion to that purpose causes friction with friends, family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of that time to be independent. The struggle of Edna to be herself and not what others thought she should be really related to me. From my perspective, the social norms of women today are not really that different, except we can have jobs as long as it doesn’t compromise “the family”. In comparison, I have always tried to be true to myself and never just do what people wanted me to. The central theme of feminism and how women can be independent open up spaces of awareness for recognition, especially during times in the past where traditions of men and women’s roles were separated.
Furthermore, on Grand Isle, her relations with Adele Ratignolle and Robert Lebrun were more intense within the story than her relations with Leonce or their children. In the beginning Adele was what Edna wished she could be, but knew she could never be. AR was very beautiful and had an adoring husband and adored her children. It seemed that without them she would cease to exist. At the end , when Edna leaves Adele’s side she begins to feel sad that Adele will never experience “life’s delirium”. From all of Edna’s struggles and hardships she thinks that Adele is not struggling either because she’s never experienced the inner struggle to find freedom? This simply is not a fair judgment. People experience many hardships and struggles in life, just because you think your struggles and pain are not comparable to anyone else is unfair. Everyone has experiences and challenges they have passed, judging someone off your interpreted knowledge of what they have gone through is inaccurate.