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The pursuit of independence in Kate Chopins The awekening
2002 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to show that Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is aware of her oppressed situation as a woman in the Victorian period and that she strives to break with the patriarchal society by pursuing independence. This pursuit manifests itself in well thought-out actions and reactions, which defy society’s conventions and liberate Edna from oppression. Firstly, Edna realises that she is more than a mother and a wife. Accordingly, she gives up her motherly obligations and wifely duties in order to express her newly discovered individuality. This liberates her from traditional social rules and thus Edna becomes socially independent. As a consequence of her social independence, Edna begins to contemplate her own needs and desires, which leads to self-knowledge and spiritual independence. I have also included the other characters’ opinions about Edna’s behaviour. These opinions reflect society’s strong belief in traditional patriarchal gender roles and its aversion for independent women. With this in mind, we can more easily appreciate Edna’s struggle for freedom as these gender roles concern even us today, a hundred years later. Thus, this essay concludes that despite the oppressive and deep-rooted patriarchal ideology that exists in her society, Edna becomes aware of her individuality and pursues independence.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to show that Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is aware of her oppressed situation as a woman in the Victorian period and that she strives to break with the patriarchal society by pursuing independence. This pursuit manifests itself in well thought-out actions and reactions, which defy society’s conventions and liberate Edna from oppression. Firstly, Edna realises that she is more than a mother and a wife. Accordingly, she gives up her motherly obligations and wifely duties in order to express her newly discovered individuality. This liberates her from traditional social rules and thus Edna becomes socially independent. As a consequence of her social independence, Edna begins to contemplate her own needs and desires, which leads to self-knowledge and spiritual independence. I have also included the other characters’ opinions about Edna’s behaviour. These opinions reflect society’s strong belief in traditional patriarchal gender roles and its aversion for independent women. With this in mind, we can more easily appreciate Edna’s struggle for freedom as these gender roles concern even us today, a hundred years later. Thus, this essay concludes that despite the oppressive and deep-rooted patriarchal ideology that exists in her society, Edna becomes aware of her individuality and pursues independence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 17 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53712Local ID: ENG C-14OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53712DiVA: diva2:1102272
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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