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American Lit II Paper 2 2-17-2K The main characters depicted in both Edith Whartons Ethan Frome and Kate Chopins The Awakening undergo a personal struggle in their attempt to deal with the universal emotion of love Ethan Frome and Edna Pontellier each are married but in love with another person During the time in which the stories take place it is socially unacceptable for them to divorce or have an affair and both characters are aware of the views of society Ethan and Edna are in situations that do not please them and have an inner need or desire to be with someone else Ethan Frome falls in love with his young servant who is also his wifes cousin Edna Pontellier is infatuated with a man she met while vacationing Robert Lebrun Because of marriage they are unable to openly pursue the objects of their affection The desire of their hearts leads them both to secretly maintain relationships outside their marriage and ultimately causes their demise Of the two Edna is more accepting of her amorous feelings and leaves her husband moving out of his house Although she was fond of her husband in the beginning of their marriage she felt unaccountable satisfaction that no trace of passion or excessive and fictitious warmth colored her affection She also shows little regard for her children for she would sometimes gather them passionately to her heart she would sometimes forget them She does not feel any sense of duty or responsibility to her family and is not even faithful to her love for Robert Lebrun because she has a sexual relationship with Alcee Arobin Edna also shuns the society that looks upon her actions disapprovingly refusing to entertain callers Edna immerses herself in dreaming of Robert the thought of him was like an obsessionhis existence dominated her thought Her closest companion Mademoiselle Reisz encourages and assists her in her affair
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