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Edna’s Failure to Find Her Female Role in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
Karlstad University, Division for Culture and Communication.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In The Awakening we meet Edna, a woman in search of her female identity. She is uncomfortable in her role as the “patriarchal woman” and has trouble becoming either a “modern woman” or an “emancipated woman” To fully understand Edna’s search one must understand the patriarchal society in Chopin’s works and what it means to internalize this system. Edna searches for a different female role than that of the “patriarchal woman” but she has problems internalizing any one of the roles due to her previous choices, current social position and lack of support in her quest. This essay explores what these previous choices are and why they have placed her in her current position. She has a lack of support, which is crucial if she is to break out of her current female position. Edna’s realization that she cannot obtain a full acceptance in either one of these three female roles finally led to her choosing suicide. This essay also explores why she chooses this final way to resolve her problem. Critics have said that the suicide is not in tune with the rest of the novel, but I will in contrast show how the ending is indeed very much in tune with Chopin’s portrayal of Edna. The confusion that Chopin shows in Edna’s character throughout the novel explains why Edna in the end takes her own life. Our protagonist is a woman who searches for an identity that she cannot find due to choices she has already made and a society which she cannot change, and in that light suicide is a viable alternative.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , p. 13
Keywords [en]
Kate Chopin
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-914OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-914DiVA, id: diva2:6669
Uppsok
humaniora/teologi
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Available from: 2007-06-07 Created: 2007-06-07 Last updated: 2018-01-11

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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