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Edna Pontellier - Edna Pontellier is a respectable woman of the late 1800s who not only acknowledges her sexual desires but also has the strength and courage to act on them Breaking through the role appointed to her by society she discovers her own identity independent of her husband and children Many of Kate Chopins other stories feature passionate unconventional female protagonists but none presents a heroine as openly rebellious as Edna The details and specifics of Ednas character are key to understanding the novel and its impact on generations of readers At the beginning of the novel Edna exists in a sort of semi-conscious state She is comfortable in her marriage to Lonce and unaware of her own feelings and ambitions Edna has always been a romantic enamored with a cavalry officer at a very young age in love with a man visiting a neighboring plantation in her teens and infatuated with a tragedian as a young woman But she saw her marriage to Lonce as the end to her life of passion and the beginning of a life of responsibility Although she expected her dreams of romance to disappear along with her youth her fantasies and yearnings only remain latent re-emerging on Grand Isle in the form of her passion for Robert Lebrun The people Edna meets and the experiences she has on Grand Isle awaken desires and urges for music sexual satisfaction art and freedom that she can no longer bear to keep hidden Like a child Edna begins to see the world around her with a fresh perspective forgetting the behavior expected of her and ignoring the effects of her unconventional actions Yet Edna is often childish as well as childlike she harbors unrealistic dreams about the possibilities of a wild adulterous romance without consequences and she fails to consider the needs and desires of anyone but herself Her flagrant disregard of reality is revealed when she mocks Roberts apprehensions about
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