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Word Count: 643
Kate Chopins The Awakening takes place during the late 1800s in New Orleans Louisiana The protagonist Edna Pontellier fights to obtain independence which places her in opposition to society Her society believed that a married woman needed to make both her husbands and childrens needs her first priority Her duty included chores around the house and obeying her husbands demands Chopin focuses triumph as the theme in The Awakening as Edna unleashes her true identity in her society Ednas triumph began early in the book when she initially realized her desire to rebel against her husbands commands unlike her habitual obedience to him in prior years The narrator described Ednas changed behavior when she stated She could not at that moment have done other than denied and resisted She wondered if her husband had ever spoken to her like that before and if she had submitted to his command Chopin 41 Edna considered her past and found it almost incomprehensible that she dealt with his demands for so long When she realized her fault Edna determined to change her behavior regardless of her societys position Edna feared nothing when forced to make major decisions She attempted to rise above society and the conditions forced upon her to act as the proper housewife who tended to her husbands every command Edna often visited the ocean because it provided her with the strength and power to stand up to her husband and her society Edna stated How few of us even emerge from such a beginning Chopin 17 which clearly demonstrated that she felt vast changes with her emotions and ideas which allowed her to begin a new life The sea which Chopin described during the novel represented Ednas chance to break free and start over The voice of the sea is seductive never ceasing whispering clamoring murmuring inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude Chopin 152 The ocean water symbolized of cleanliness
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