The Awakening By Kate Chopin Essay

1465 Words Jan 26th, 2016 6 Pages
From Fitzgerald 's boats that beat on against the current to Maya Angelou who still rises with the certainty of tides, the ocean has long represented and radiated a sense of power. It can push against you, holding you under its clear blue weight; it can pull your body close in a suffocating embrace with each deep swell; it can reel back like a serpent, twisting around your toes and licking your heels. The Awakening by Kate Chopin ties the water’s wild and sensuous tendrils to the difficulties of women in the 19th century who attempted to attain the freedom of the ocean without drowning in its loneliness. Chopin depicts the struggle of women who rejected domesticity to retain their sexuality rather than living in solitude through three character’s - Madame Adele’s, Mademoiselle Reisz’s, and Robert Lebrun’s - relationships with the ocean and their role in Edna Pontellier’s awakening,
Adele’s character perfectly aligns with society’s idea of the perfect woman: someone who devotes her life to her children, domestic duties, and enjoyable marriage. From Adele’s first appearance, Chopin describes her in a motherly, ultra feminine, angelic fashion: “she was dressed in pure white, with a fluffiness of ruffles that became her” (17). Adele’s acceptance of domesticity becomes apparent when Edna observes Adele’s relationship with her husband: Edna sees them as a picture of “domestic harmony” because the couple speaks frequently and with mutual respect (63). Edna’s character differs…

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