“The Awakening” Personal Respose

Throughout reading the story “The Awakening”, I believe Edna was making very rash decisions. I do understand that she was not being completely fulfilled in her marriage with Mr. Pontellier, but to result in suicide is quite a bold decision. She wanted to feel real love but she was looking too hard. I believe if she was able to recognize the love she was already receiving from her spouse, or her other lovers, she may not have committed suicide. The depiction of love she was looking for was storybook love, and I believe it can’t be completely achieved. She was looking for a connection with someone that would cause no harm or unjust. In relationships it is nearly impossible to have no moments that cause each other to have second thoughts. When Edna asked Aruban to runaway with her, she was only thinking of herself. She felt confident they both were falling in love, but Aruban did not feel the same way. Some may blame Mr. Pontellier for giving her next to no physical or emotional love. This emptiness resulted in her looking for the “perfect love”. I believe this search for a perfect relationship resulted in Edna’s demise.

I felt intrigued with the novel The Awakening because it is not a novel I could have seen myself reading. But the more I read, the more I felt a connection with the characters and found myself hopefully wishing for Edna’s happiness. However, It ended up like a Shakespearian tragedy, with Edna realizing she could not find happiness or love and swimming off into the ocean, finally awakened.

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As I Grew Older

As I Grew Older – Langston Hughes’s poem As I Grew Older guides the reader throughout the rough life of a black man. Many black men did not have opportunities to experience their lives to the fullest, which the sun representing these dreams “Bright like a sun- my dream.” But the character in this poem is unable to reach the sun due to the “The Wall” which rose slowly. Langston’s use of repetition with the word slowly creates a certain sort of the loss of hope. With each slowly we see how the characters dream slowly fades away. Then the wall reaches its top… “Shadow. I am black” Langston is not saying that he is black due to the shadow, he is using the shadow as a way to show how his race is unable to let him reach for his dream. With no hope left in him the character lies down with the wall overtop of him and the shadow casting not light but the shade of race upon him “only the thick wall. only the shadow.” The character starts to curse upon his own hands “My hands! My dark hands!” Thinking that maybe if his hands were white he would be able to break down this wall of darkness. He try anyway “Break through the wall! Find my dream!” Without breaking though he wishes he could. Then suddenly the poem ends. Creating a sort of silence. Maybe not around the reader but in their head. The way Hughes is able to create this riot in your head is quite intriguing on a high level.

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