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The Stages Of Life Kate Chopins novel The Awakening is an excellent story of a womans quest for freedom in her society Her decisions in life challenge the social barrier and defy conventional family roles Edna is unfulfilled as a wife and mother even though she and her husband are financially safe Her husband Leonce Pontellier is a good husband and father but he only pays attention to his own material interests Because of his distraction to material belongings he has failed to recognize the fact that his wifes needs are not being met Some of Chopins characters are not fully developed Some of these undeveloped characters are important because they represent specific themes The lovers and the lady in black are both very important undeveloped characters despite the fact that they are completely oblivious to the rest of the world The lady in black is first mentioned in Chapter I Mr Pontellier is surveying the cottages when he notices that a lady in black is walking demurely up and down telling her beads 6 In this example the rosary beads suggest that the lady in black is religious This character is a symbol of religion While everyone else is relaxing she is busy praying It is also worth noting that there are several passages which suggest that Edna is rebelling from her religious upbringing For example just after we meet the lovers Edna shares a memory with Madame Ratignolle She describes herself walking through a meadow as a young girl She says Likely as not it was Sunday and I was running away from prayers from the Presbyterian service read in a spirit of gloom by my father that chills me yet to think of it 35 Similar to the description of her fathers service the lady in black is serious and serene After that day at the beach Chopin describes the lady in black as follows she creeping behind the lovers
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