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Kate Chopins second and final novel The Awakening was published in 1899 at the height of her popularity Ironically this work now regarded as a classic essentially marked the end of Chopins writing career The Awakening has now earned a place in the literary canon for the way it uses these formal and structural techniques to explore themes of marriage motherhood and womans independence desire and sexuality In my opinion all these issues are best seen in the last chapter Thats why I am to write about it Chapter XXXIX begins on Grand Isle Victor and Mariequita flirt and discuss Ednas dinner party while Victor does construction work Unexpectedly they see Edna walking toward them It is still long before the summer season but Edna explains that she has come alone to the island in order to rest She makes plans to have lunch with the pair and then walks down to the beach for a swim ignoring Victor and Mariequitas claims that the water is much too cold As she walks along the beach Ednas thoughts are utterly different Once she reaches the water she removes the garment with no one in sight Edna stands naked in the open air at the mercy of the sun the breeze that beat upon her and the waves that invited her She swims out into the water Eventually tiredness goes beyond her The recollections of her early days fill her thoughts as she gives up to the expanse of the deep First thing I would like to describe is deconstruction I would like to point that the last scene brings the variety of meanings and interpretations On the one hand the suicide is an act of final capitulation to the power of social traditions On the other hand such a surrender is generous--that Edna does not want to
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