A Wife 's Escape By Kate Chopin Essay
Kate Chopin 's novel The Awakening and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” have a similar story involving a woman narrator overcoming, or escaping from, her predetermined role. However, both stories end in a negative manner for the women, with a suicide in The Awakening and insanity in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” So although the struggle for freedom is inherently feminist, it is possible that the endings could be seen as the women realizing that they will never be able to truly escape the restraints of patriarchal society.
Edna’s desire to escape her life starts to come about after she has an emotional awakening from her relationship with Robert. At the start of the novel, she is an obedient wife, although she does not tend to her children as much as she should because she is “not a mother woman” (Chopin 8), she does not disobey her husband. This starts to change once she has started to develop romantic feelings for Robert. The first time Edna truly stands up to her husband is after she successfully swims in the ocean for the first time and he demands that she come to bed.
“She perceived that her will had blazed up, stubborn and resistant. She could not at that moment have done other than denied and resisted. She wondered if her husband had ever spoken to her like that before, and if she had submitted to his command. Of course she had; she remembered that she had. But she could not realize why or how she should have yielded, feeling as she then…