The Importance Of Love In The Awakening By Kate Chopin

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Love is not for the faint of heart. It demands aspects of us, such as time, work, and dedication, that we must sacrifice for the sake of others. Sometimes, these demands are not met, and that is where we can encounter problems. In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier finds herself in relationships where she must decide who deserves her love – herself or another. As her journey to self-discovery progresses, she starts to abandon her past self and become what she once despised - the embodiment of self-centeredness. Her desire for freedom from societal norms, or what she considers societal confinement, pushes her to leave her past relationships. Yet, what she fails to realize is that true love requires reflection and sacrifice. Her lack of these qualities …show more content…
Edna Pontellier was raised with a strong Presbyterian background, which once “took a firm hold upon” her (Chopin 22). Now, there is no hold. In her experience, it would seem strange not to find her without this element in her life. However, whenever she decides to do anything religious, she tends to leave or run away before it is over. There are two examples of this. One is her “running away from prayers” as a child (Chopin 22). Another is her sudden departure from the church, where she felt “oppression and drowsiness” overcome her (Chopin 47). As the novel unfolds, we find that she never returns to church after that day. Therefore, her lack of a connection with God is prevalent. Also, it may have once been expected of her to attend church and follow the Word of God as much as possible. So, it is not surprising that she decides to abandon her relationship with Him in order to follow her interests, which are to rebel against societal expectations. If she had shown love for Him, then she would follow His word, which says, “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark …show more content…
This, however, is much clearer later in the novel. For Robert, his side of the relationship would be a selfless one. He believed that he and Edna were too attached to one another, so he decided to leave for the betterment of her sake. Edna “does not like it” because she wants him to help her in her spiritual ascent (Chopin 60). This, of course, proved to be preposterous in the end because Robert wished to follow societal constructs when Edna did not. After this, she “even realized that the day would come when … the thought of him would melt out of her existence, leaving her alone” (Chopin 155). In essence, Robert will simply become another pawn in Edna’s game. Her feelings will move from person to person and will not cease until she finds the one who can transcend her past societal

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