Essay about Analysis Of Kate Chopin 's ' The Awakening '

2111 Words Oct 26th, 2016 9 Pages
Sara Hatab
The Awakening Prompt #1

Edna 's Suicide

There are considerable amounts of critical debates regarding the way Kate Chopin ended her novel, The Awakening. One group of commentators say that the main character 's, Edna Pontellier 's, awakening is one of psychological lucidity and that her suicide is an act of success. Edna is finally freeing herself from social restrictions by committing suicide and is thus seen as the greatest feminist. Other commentators, on the other hand, believe that Edna 's development throughout the novel is her slowly descending into lunacy and that her act of suicide is one of surrender and “a pathetic defeat that is inconsistent with the depiction of her previous strength and achievements” (242) according to George Spangler. While there are evidence to support both sides, Chopin chooses to end the novel with ambiguity and trying to rationalize it would result in missing the entire point of the novel.
However, Edna 's suicide is too significant, has too many deeper meanings, to not think about why Chopin ended her novel the way she did. While I believe that Edna 's decision to commit suicide does not reflect well with the character herself, the act is overall in tune with the novel. Edna is characterized as a woman who has troubles finding her place in society yet is a caring person. Although she cannot fully give up who she really is, she refuses to hurt her family; her husband and children, and the people around her who call…

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