Edna was fighting to be just as independent and free as her husband. She’s on a road of self-discovery, trying to find her true self, but everyone around her disregards what she says, only believing what her husband says. Edna’s behavior stemmed from her wanting attention that everyone was giving her.
Edna has made several different transformations throughout this novel. All of these different transformations give her new outlooks on life on society and life. Edna then wants to embrace this change
The Awakening begins at a crisis in Edna Pontellier's life. Edna is a free-spirited and passionate woman who has a hard time finding means of communications and a real role as a wife and a mother. Edna finds herself desperately wanting her own emotional and sexual identities. During one summer while her husband, Leonce, is out of town on business, her frustration and need for emotional freedom leads to an affair with a younger man.
She was unfaithful to her husband because he had betrayed her by seeing her as an object. This contributed to her yearning for truth, freedom and sense of individuality. She lacked self-expression. Her husband was a well-meaning man, but Edna had no real trust in him. She felt empty with him and their children. Once Leonce was gone and Edna had been with Robert, she felt like she had found true and passionate love, but she had not. Robert was like Leonce. Robert speaks of her being "set free and given to her" and she realizes that Robert also viewed women as possessions. This was a trouble that she could not get away from. Robert loved her, but the way that he thought was still being controlled by the society and time that they lived in. Edna realizes that her loving and lusty relationship with Robert would still be repressed by the society that they were in. That is not what Edna wanted. She could not hold back her feelings and continue living the way that she was. Edna did not want to live a life that would have her lying to her children, and raising them would have been painful to her without truth. She felt that if she were to follow through with being with Robert, she would be taking away their expression and personal freedom. Edna was a very strong woman in the light that she did not want to give herself away. She strove to be an independent and self-sufficient individual.
Edna could not stay with her husband, and felt there were no options, which would bring her happiness. People called her selfish and whiny, but that was not what she was at all. She was being forced by society and her family to stay in a situation that was against her nature. Not only was she enduring all that, she was acting out and behaving the way that she was for attention. While she had a deep love for her children, she could not sacrifice everything, including her inner-self, to them. Though, she had genuine care and a real appreciation for her