The Awakening: A Conversation Analysis

1571 Words 7 Pages
Julia Flesch
Mrs. Schultz
American Literature Orange 12 March 2018
Annotated Bibliography
The men in the Awakening were some of the major causes leading to Edna Pontellier's independence.
Muirhead, Marion. “A Conversation Analysis of ‘The Awakening.’” JSTOR , Vol. 33, No. 1, Fall 2000, pp. 42-54. JSTOR,
Marion Muirhead argues in her journal article Edna fails to express her feelings and to get access to discourse contributes to her death and so does being denied access to her chosen profession of painting, which is another form of self-expression. Muirhead talks about the roles of women back then and how different it was for upper, middle and lower class women. Upper to middle class women work as
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Leonce Pontellier was also a big part of Edna’s life, Webb states that Leonce was dissatisfied with Edna when she didn’t take care of the kids like a mother during that time should. He continues on and talks about how Edna is still married to Leonce, she falls in love with Robert, but when Robert left she took Alcee as her next lover. Webb explains that Mrs. Highcamp was the woman that brought Edna and Alcee together, but with the absence of her husband and children, she makes it very clear that she has shut them out of her life and now is focusing on herself from now on. He also explains that the three men in Edna’s life work as a negative effect on Edna’s image in the novel, Webb argues that Leonce shuts down Edna’s public signs of individualism, Alcee shows his power as a lover to take over her individuality, and that Robert is the one that more than anything physically tears Edna apart. At the end of his article he discusses how Edna takes her life away and how she can’t possibly take the pain she is feeling away anymore. Grand Isle is completing the circle, right back to the beginning and starting all over again.
This article, originally published by The Johns Hopkins University Press on behalf of The South Central Modern Language Association,
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Urgo states that Edna finds her voice learns how to go against society. He discusses that Edna becomes mute after awhile and ends up just responding in conversations and not starting them. Which is acceptable in her culture because to live in her society she must silence herself. He goes on to explain that the anti-motherhood/wife thinking that Edna has in The Awakening, Edna is choosing to commit suicide opposed to seeking help. Urgo continues on to talk about her marriage and how Edna’s “crying spells” were typical the entire time she was married, and explains that “had never before... weighed much in her consideration of her relationship with her husband” (Urgo). He brings up Robert,the man asking Edna about her vision, and and tells her that he likes it. Edna lashes out and destroys the picture because she doesn’t believe that she is as talented as he says she is. Urgo believes that Edna just wants to be heard and no one is listening. Urgo states that musical strains are an artistic motivation for Edna and show her love of Mademoiselle Reisz’s music. This motivation lead to her naming an artwork after Mademioselle’s music. Urgo concludes the journal article with stating that Edna will not compromise what is within her and states that what Chopin was trying to get across

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