Escape And Self-Confinement In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Escape and Self-Confinement In the Awakening In Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening, Edna’s relentless pilgrimage for freedom resulted in her personal incarceration. Edna’s love for Robert, lack of loyalty in her marriage, and visits to the race track, were all attempts to become free from what society insisted. The results of these actions imposed more restrictions on Edna than society did. Edna’s marriage with Leonce was not exemplary. He was often away and did not give the love and affection that he once did. Edna described their marriage as, “purely an accident...He fell in love as men are in the habit of doing” (24). She was passionate with another man during their pre-marital interactions. However, Leonce’s wealth, pleasure, and persistent …show more content…
He was frequently seen with her and accompanied her to several places, including their exclusive trip to Madame Antoine’s house. During these times, Edna never admitted her love or desire for Robert, only accepted it. She allowed him to do inappropriate actions: “he quietly rested his head against Mrs. Pontellier’s arm” (15). While this may not seem significant, it could have proceeded more improper actions. Robert eventually moved to Mexico, perhaps after realizing he would not be able to have a romantic relationship with Edna since she was “not free,” she was “Leonce Pontellier’s wife” (145). During Robert's leave, Edna changed her attitude toward her marriage when she tried to become more independent. She had a sudden infatuation for Robert that originated from feelings of desire that she could not get from her marriage with Leonce. She wanted to fulfill these feelings, leading to her lust for Robert. This act of sovereignty from her marriage led her to substantial pain and depression since her emotions could not be subdued by Robert while he was gone. When Robert returned from Mexico, he was hesitant and uncomfortable to talk or act romantically with Edna. Edna unveiled her sensuality to him in a blatant manner and became confused when he did not do the same. She tried to make him openly admit his love and even forced herself on him: such as the incident where she “leaned over and kissed him” (145). Her relentless infatuation with Robert made her feel free from her marriage and the norms she must follow as a married woman. It may have freed her in those senses, but it constrained her more in other aspects. She was profoundly in love with Robert, but then had to face reality. After Madame Ratignolle’s labor, Edna returned to the Pigeon House believing Robert would be there waiting. Instead, she found a note, inscribed, “ I love you. Good-bye--because I love you” (152). This note from

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