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Word Count: 749
Kate Chopins The Awakening is a work of fiction that tells the story of Edna Pontellier Southern wife and mother This book presents the reader with many tough questions and few answers It is not hard to imagine why this book was banished for decades not long after its initial publication in 1899 At that time in history women did just what they were expected to do They were expected to be good daughters good wives and good mothers A woman was expected to move from the protection of her fathers roof to the protection of her husband Edna didnt fit this mold and that eventually leads her husband to send for a doctor It is here that Edna Pontellier says words that define The Awakening I dont want anything but my own way That is wanting a good deal of course when you have to trample upon the lives the hearts the prejudices of others - but no matter As the book begins Edna is a married woman who seems vaguely satisfied with her life However she cannot find true happiness Her awakening begins when a persistent young man named Robert begins courting her Edna begins to respond to him with a passion she hasnt felt before She begins to realize that she can play roles other than wife and mother Throughout the book Edna takes many steps to increase her independence She sends her children away she refuses to stay at home on Tuesdays as was the social convention of the time she frequents races and parties Unfortunately her independence proves to be her downfall Edna stays married because divorce was unheard of in those days She wants to marry Robert but he will not because it will disgrace her to leave her husband No matter how much Edna exceeds social boundaries she is held down by the will of others despite what she wants In todays world divorce sadly is almost commonplace
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