Motherhood In The Awakening

Words: 522
Pages: 3

Motherhood and the presence of children affects both the heroine’s actions in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl in similar, yet vastly different ways. They suggest that children can help in the attainment of identity, but in the sense of identifying as a mother. Both Linda and Edna do things for the benefit of their children, but in two completely different scenarios. They search for their fulfillment, but for Linda, it’s more about protecting her children and her search for freedom while Edna’s is more focused on her wants. For Linda, the presence of her children is a driving force for her to keep going; it’s one of the pushing factors for her to want to become free. She figures that without …show more content…
Her journey is her own self-fulfillment. She mentions being fond of her sons and enjoys when she visits them when they’re at her mother-in-laws, but for the most part, she doesn’t spend the novel being a mother. While she’s having her awakening and moving into her own place, her children are separate from her and she’s okay with that. She wants to become her own person, as opposed to being just a mother. Edna says that she would give up anything for her children, except for her life. The presence of her children, or lack thereof, shows that Edna wasn’t a motherly type. She’s not exactly a good mother, per say, but she does realize the implications that her children would go through should she just up and disappear. Edna didn’t belong in that period, or that society, and she knew that. She figures that one of the best ways to disappear (and have her ending rebirth in the process) is to do so by committing suicide in the ocean. Both women portray different sides of motherhood and what the presence of children can have on a woman. While Linda sacrificed a great deal for her children and herself to one day be free, Edna was slowly becoming unshackled from society’s