Nonconformism And Individualism In Emerson, By Kate Chopin

979 Words 4 Pages
There are a innumerable amount of people who want to extend themselves with self-reliance and individualism. Although, some people never have the chance to experience the life they have always desired. Most people are fettered to a certain standard by society and feel obligated to obtain that standard to satisfy the people around them. However, Edna Pontellier was not restricted by society and journeyed down her own path. Edna gathered many choices of individualism, transcendentalism, and nonconformity.
With regards to individualism, which expresses the habit or principle of being self-reliant, is widely shown in both Emerson’s and Chopin’s work. Emerson establishes the idea that “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives
…show more content…
Emerson is trying to convey that envy prevents individualism and imitations take away from relying on yourself. In Chopin’s work Edna has lived a life according to the way society sees fit, until one night her life changed entirely. At eleven o’clock Edna’s husband, Leonce, arrives home from a late night spent at the Klein’s Hotel. He disruptively walks into their bedroom, awakening Edna from her slumber, and questions her about the well being of one of their children. After Leonce insisted she checks on the child, he implies that she neglects their children. Once she sees the child is in fact not ill she comes back to into the room and lies down ignoring any questions that are asked. After Leonce has smoked his cigar and is fast asleep Edna gets out of bed to blow out the candle that had been left burning and sat outside by herself. Sitting outside, she began to weep silently to herself. “An indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like a mist passing across her soul’s summer day. It was strange and unfamiliar; it was a mood.” (page 8). This was the first night …show more content…
A nonconformist is one who does not follow generally accepted beliefs, customs, or practices. Emerson asservates that “He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the names of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness, nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind” (paragraph 3). Meaning, if anyone truly wishes to have self-reliance they will become a nonconformist considering that nonconformist acts and thinks for only himself. Edna indubitably becomes a nonconformist; she turns her life upside down solely for herself and herself only. Edna reveals that“ ‘I would give up the unessential; I would give up my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear; it’s only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me..’ ” (page 65). Edna verbalising this to a close friend makes it clear that she is a nonconformist. Emerson emphasizes that “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.” (paragraph 5). Meaning that, a person who does not follow the “correct way” of living will be seen as an outcast. Despite the fact, Emerson also clarifies that it is acceptable to be looked at as odd or peculiar. He justifies that if a nonconformist was to have assurance, then the individual would be sitting by themself somber and alone. Although for a nonconformist not to

Related Documents