Essay The Awakening: Character Analysis

Submitted By Stephanie-Fox
Words: 462
Pages: 2

While Edna tries to break free from conformity she exhibits some behavior that may be regarded as "childlike". For one, she is constantly disregarding responsibilities, tending to herself rather than those around her. She seems to have an affinity for ignoring her children especially, letting them "...pick [themselves] up, wipe the water out of [their] eyes and the sand out of [their mouths], and go on playing..." instead of tending to their needs. A parent is responsible to love and care for their children and Mrs. P. certainly does not. She also exhibits, later in the novel, a lack of basic respect for her husband, showing her growing independence through every disobedient act such as the hammock incident portrayed on Pg. 50. Due to her lack of responsibility and overall selfish demeanor, I deem her to be "childlike". Take a look at the relationship between Edna and Robert and pay close attention to the role Edna plays. Allusions to her adulterous nature can be found in the book as early as in the very first chapter, where Robert stays behind to talk to Edna while Mr. P. goes out to be with his friends. She has wild unrealistic fantasies involving her and Robert, rejecting all realities and substituting her own. Even in his absence, he is on her mind, allowing her to be compared to a love struck young girl. Edna is obviously immature and I believe that there is a purpose behind Chopin's portrayal of Edna this way. A child is generally viewed as innocent in nature, knowing not what they have done even after committing an obvious wrong. The novel never characterizes Edna as being in the "right" throughout the course of her awakening, but it also never characterizes her as being in the