Thursday, January 23, 2020

Edna’s Realization in Chapter 28 of Chopin’s The Awakening :: Chopin Awakening

Edna’s Realization in Chapter 28 of Chopin’s The Awakening The fifteen lines of chapter 28 express Edna’s multi-voiced mindset after her relationship with Arobin exceeds the boundaries of friendship. The chapter opens with her crying and then explores the process of guilt as it sets in. Edna’s guilt, however, is afflicted by the other figures in her life, not by her own sense of wrongdoing. The manipulating voices in Edna’s life do affect her, but they do not linger as they once did. It is her voice, her realization, that comes at the end. The chapter’s second line, â€Å"It was only one phase of the multitudinous emotions which had assailed her,† suggests that Edna’s emotions are influenced by other individuals; the primary definition of â€Å"multitudinous† is â€Å"including a multitude of individuals† (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). It is as if more individuals than just her self populate Edna’s mind. These men (she hears no women’s voices) express their own wishes and wants, not Edna’s. Their voices and emotions â€Å"assail† her violently. First, Edna feels irresponsible - an odd emotion after an unfaithful act. She feels irresponsible as a married woman for she has not performed her appropriate duties, or rather, she has performed inappropriate duties as a married woman. This irresponsibility is the voice of society. Edna additionally experiences a sense of shock at something new, something out of the ordinary. Her customary way of life does not include intense sexual situations. Next, Edna senses her husband’s â€Å"reproach† - his rebuke and disapproval. She does not sense his anger or his jealousy, emotions which would perhaps be more appropriate for a man whose wife has been unfaithful to him. Rather, he is concerned with what â€Å"society† will say. Her mind’s portrayal of Mr. Pontellier’s response is quite accurate; when Edna writes her husband to let him know she is moving out, he is not angry or sad, but rather concerned with society’s estimation of the situation. He joins society in disapproving of her. Then comes Robert’s reproach, which she attributes to a â€Å"quicker, fiercer, more overpowering love....† Robert’s disapproval, then, comes from love, not from society’s cares and not from a desire to protect her (or himself) from society’s judgment. Yet this love is not Robert’s, but rather her own. The love has â⠂¬Å"awakened within her toward him† - and thus appears the title of the novel. She has been awakened to her love of him.

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