Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Live Blogging: The End of The Awakening



If you have been in the inner circle very little (or not at all!), make an effort to participate today. We want to hear your voice!

This is our last discussion of The Awakening, so let's make it happen.

200 comments:

chelseah said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because… to her, there is no other way to solve her problems and find complete happiness.

For a long time, critics have been puzzled by the self-inflicted death of Edna Pontellier, the heroine of Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899). At the end of her process of awakening, which begins with a summer infatuation and leads to a breakaway from the family home and from the role of wife and mother, Edna is not a victorious New Woman, leading an independent life of spiritual and sensual fulfillment. She is quite simply dead, to the relief of contemporary commentators such as the unnamed author of the "Book Reviews" column in Public Opinion of 22 June 1899, who presents himself as the representative of the general reading public when he asserts that "we are well satisfied when Mrs. Pontellier deliberately swims out to her death in the waters of the gulf."

jimmym92 said...

Ultimately, Edna's rebellion is a failure: she does not find a new place in society, having given up her old one for good. She is not an Adèle Ratignolle, who can content herself with being a leisured housewife and mother. Neither is she a Mademoiselle Reisz, capable of sublimating her desires in search for artistic achievement. She wants to follow her impulses and to be independent: the people around her, including her husband, let her have her way to an extent that shows an exceptional amount of tolerance, given the time and the place of the story.

Dan E said...

At the end of the novel Edna must commit suicide because Edna has realized that her soul needed to be set free to complete her “awakening.” She sees the bird and has a epiphany that she is a broken person who has made bad decisions and needs to absolve herself.

Kate Chopin Reconsidered is something of a disappointment. Both its title and the tone of the Foreword and Introduction raise expectations: the reader is encouraged to anticipate a major advance in Chopin studies. The Foreword tells us that the book `provides a range of fascinating engagements with Kate Chopin's work . . . And it shows that Kate Chopin's work continues to be intellectually, emotionally, and critically compelling.' The Introduction goes on to insist that all the essays in the book 'seek to move beyond reductive applications of theory, offering provocative insights into Chopin's unique talent' (11). One has to wonder how many readers in fact will find this collection 'provocative', 'compelling', or 'fascinating'. One's final impression is rather of a more modest book produced by scholars working quite hard to find anything really new to say about Chopin.

KylieYoum said...

[Because Edna] has cast aside traditional roles and broken Creole social and religious custom in order to define herself, she cannot find others who understand and support her. She has chosen not to live for others, but she refuses to choose to live without others. She views such isolation as an unacceptable compromise of her emotional needs.

These iconoclastic actions place Edna on the periphery of her society. Robert leaves to save her; Leonce is only interested in saving face; her children are visiting their grandmother; Adele only offers limited and traditional answers to her problems; Mlle. Reisz does not know how to be intimate except through music; and Arobin cannot in some final measure be trusted.

So virtually, Edna feels alone in the world, in a hole that she cannot come out of, and ultimately "falls back asleep" in the ocean where she was first awakened to the world.

jordanc said...

“At first Edna's decision to begin a new life as artist seems to free her, but she learns that she cannot be both a sexual person and a successful person.”


“Edna realizes that the human possibilities opening to her ought to permit a reconciliation of the contradiction that she exists as an “either-or”: either self or other, lover or artist, lover or wife, angel or whore. However, the men she meets, upon whom she becomes emotionally dependent for her sense of herself as lover, themselves reimpose the conflict. Thus, the second awakening is the knowledge that the first awakening is illusory—at the least, forever elusive, that the radical choice she has conceived is untenable and that she is unwilling to compromise, either through isolation as Mlle. Reisz does or through connection as Adele Ratignolle does. Therefore, her only resolution is suicide.”

Kjerstinl said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she understands that she does not have the strength to change her life; so it is for her children and for the people in her life that she needs to take her life.

"When read simply as a rejection of her role as mother and of the limits of her biological situation, the line can seem almost petulant. However, the capitalization of nature suggests that Edna may be referring to a narrow conception of the term which has as much of reification as biology in it, one in which "Nature" is used to justify social arrangements and to dismiss challenges to them."

karib said...

According to the Literature Resource Center,
The Awakening is the story of an exploration of those depths by an explorer ill equipped for the journey. It is a tale of terror, all the more effective because it operates within the realm of the credible; the story of a woman who tries to discard a "fictitious self,"40 only to find that she has unleashed forces beyond her control, as, in another sense, the author herself did by the publication of the novel, which ended her literary career in an environment where social and artistic freedom were particularly difficult to attain for a woman, even for one stronger than Edna Pontellier.

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she is too indecisive make a decision that will genuinely change her life, therefore condemning her to a life of despair.

matt said...

Ultimately, Edna's rebellion is a failure: she does not find a new place in society, having given up her old one for good. She is not an Adèle Ratignolle, who can content herself with being a leisured housewife and mother. Neither is she a Mademoiselle Reisz, capable of sublimating her desires in search for artistic achievement. She wants to follow her impulses and to be independent: the people around her, including her husband, let her have her way to an extent that shows an exceptional amount of tolerance, given the time and the place of the story. Still, she fails to find a new life worth living, and dies in a way which Dorothy Dix's Women's Page in the Daily Picayune of 8 October 1899 describes as a "coward's deed,"11 and a typically male one at that.

Hannah J said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she had lost feelings of love and all desire to live in the world without Robert.

“Almost always in novels written by women, however, the same struggle ends in madness or suicide. This significant difference between male and female images in literature reflects and reinforces the cultural roles which men and women assume...”

DeclanH said...

nferential readings invite us either to deduce the intentions of an author or to predict what is most likely to happen next, based upon the likelihood of such events occurring in sequence in real life, with some attention, one hopes, to the laws of nature. It is worth pointing out at the beginning that it is not at all clear that Edna's death is the most likely outcome of the sequence established in the text. It is too likely to be disregarded, obviously, but no more likely than a reasonably strong real-life swimmer becoming tired, panicking, and then finding the strength to reach the shore safely. No rules of nature or probability are breached by making an inference other than Edna's drowning. Even if we do infer Edna's drowning, it does not follow that her death is necessarily a suicide. Most teachers will remember how frequently university students argue that Edna's death is not consciously intended. They see it rather as something between an accident and a suicide.

zachf said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she lost her love. When Robert’s note says “Good-by---because, I love you” (Chopin 190) she realizes Robert and her would never be together, therefore she loses he will to live.


Kate Chopin Reconsidered is something of a disappointment. Both its title and the tone of the Foreword and Introduction raise expectations: the reader is encouraged to anticipate a major advance in Chopin studies. The Foreword tells us that the book `provides a range of fascinating engagements with Kate Chopin's work . . . And it shows that Kate Chopin's work continues to be intellectually, emotionally, and critically compelling.' The Introduction goes on to insist that all the essays in the book 'seek to move beyond reductive applications of theory, offering provocative insights into Chopin's unique talent' (11). One has to wonder how many readers in fact will find this collection 'provocative', 'compelling', or 'fascinating'. One's final impression is rather of a more modest book produced by scholars working quite hard to find anything really new to say about Chopin.

briang said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide in order to complete her “awakening”. Throughout the book, Edna faces hardships and adversity. She tries to discover herself through love, art, and the sea, but ultimately all of these things fail her. She must commit suicide to escape the life she has no place in to find a place in another life.


She is like a somnambulist, mesmerised by her ultimate seducer, the sea, of which she would have been more wary if she--like the reader--had been made aware of the satanic quality in its voice by the plethora of sharp "s" sounds in the description:

nathanm said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because...of Edna’s weakness as a character and her complete inability cope with the problems in her life.

If Edna has herself acquired such a voice at last, is not the suggestion even stronger that it was something within her which spoke to her in the first place? As a parrot will only reflect such language as it has been taught, the sea will only tell the listener what he or she wants to hear, and the message is ultimately that from a human being. In the case of the parrot, with which the story begins,17 it may be one from another person; in the case of the sea, it can only be from oneself, or one's self. Edna begins indeed to become one with the elements: she can be the sea, her own destroyer, as well as she can be "the sunlight" to Mademoiselle Reisz.

CMeghan said...

Hey there team!

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because...she has awoken to the needs of others and by sacrificing herself, can save those she loves pain.

THE MOST INTERESTING ARTICLE EVER:
The births of her own two sons are by that time only dim memories of pain, the occasions almost devoid of meaning:


She was seized with a vague dread. Her own like experiences seemed far away, unreal, and only half remembered. She recalled faintly an ecstasy of pain, the heavy odor of chloroform, a stupor which had deadened sensation, and an awakening to find a little new life to which she had given being, added to the great unnumbered multitude of souls that come and go.34

The explicit use of the word "awakening" in this context is crucial. The awakening is not only a return from a sleeping to a fully conscious state, but a return to a changed reality, a different "little new life." In Edna's case, this may be herself, a rebirth of her as the "little unthinking child ... walking through the green meadow,"35 unconscious of danger. However, another possible meaning is that this "little new life" is another child to which Edna will give birth. She has been sleeping with Arobin, and there is at least the possibility that this has resulted in pregnancy. Before dismissing this as a far-fetched interpretation, one should consider that it would ultimately make sense of the ending: Edna revolts against Nature itself by destroying herself as a means of procreation, but ironically by following another natural impulse that is directed at self-destruction, the impulse that drives a lemming, or, in the vision of Edna herself, "humanity like worms struggling blindly towards inevitable annihilation."36

IS THAT NOT INTERESTING OR WHAT?!

erikaw said...

At the end if the novel, Edna MUST commit suicide because Kate Chopin saw that Edna had gotten herself so deep into a hole and that there was really no other way out of her troubles and problems. Kate thought that a suicide ending would be content enough to end her book.


The ending of Chopin's The Awakening signals Mrs. Pontellier's failure to resolve the conflict between her urge toward self-realization and the constricting conventions of society. Most critics, as Elizabeth Fox-Genovese has remarked, treat the novel "as a problem novel that cries out for a 'solution.'"1

Madisonm said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because…

She has to escape from the entanglement of a life she has created for herself, filled with love, and loves lost. The deeper in love Edna falls with Robert, the less and less she finds any love for her life. She centers all her emotions and actions on him, and looses sight of her real purpose. She convinces herself that Robert is her purpose that it is meant for them to be able to be together. When she finally realizes that they cannot be together, or she gives up trying to be with him, rather, she doesn’t feel that there is anything else for her to live for. Edna does not want to look for anything else to live for; all she wants is to forget. She wants to forget Robert and everything he has meant to her; and because she thinks that he is everything to her, she no longer wants to exist. She wants to leave this world, and everything Robert; to escape from everything that reopens the wound Robert has inflicted on her heart.

“[Edna] half-consciously played with fire, half-conscious of the dangers of breaking social rules, but not of those incurred by tapping into forces hidden deep within her self. By doing so, she has taken on something bigger than she, something elementary, connected with the beyond into which she finally drifts.”

TomR said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she is unable to forge any meaningful bond with anyone else. Her life revolves around her own selfish desires, which leave her disconnected from her children, her husband, and ultimately Robert. The final act of selfishness is to remove herself from all the people who care about her. She is afraid to confront anything beyond her narrow window of reality.

"The strong differences among the arguments offered by critics of The Awakening to support their readings is a healthy expression of the dialogue that has gone forward since Kate Chopin's time about the roles of women and men and the nature of marriage, a dialogue which, in its more lucid forms, looks toward the future. Between us and them lies an ocean of possibilities, inviting us to take risks without the guarantee of happy endings or the luxury of despair."

kyle said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she is isolated from the world and this is her rrealization.

Chopin saw Edna as strong enough to rebel but too weak to survive her rebellion. However, the source of this weakness is much more difficult to define.

hannahs said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she knows that nothing can ever fulfill her. She refuses to continue to live on as an empty shell, and to avoid hurting herself and others anymore, she must take her own life.

“She wants to follow her impulses and to be independent: the people around her, including her husband, let her have her way to an extent that shows an exceptional amount of tolerance, given the time and the place of the story. Still, she fails to find a new life worth living, and dies”

jimmym92 said...

What other way do you think Edna could have led out her life with Robert gone and her normal way of life in ruins

CMeghan said...

Hey there all!

Here's a question for you: how would YOU have ended this story?

kaylaf said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because her awakening was because of the ocean so she must end her life their to fulfill her freedom and escape.

She is like a somnambulist, mesmerised by her ultimate seducer, the sea, of which she would have been more wary if she--like the reader--had been made aware of the satanic quality in its voice by the plethora of sharp "s" sounds in the description.

Lane C. said...

At the end of the novel Edna must commit suicide because she is unable to take responsibilites for her actions and decision.

"Unfortunately, this means that we have typically ignored the possibility that Edna's suicide derives from depression and that she is a woman haunted by the attachment deprivation of her childhood. "

hannahs said...

What made Robert change his mind and leave Enda even though they loved each other?

ShannonH said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide, because the beach and the sea is where she finds happiness, and her happiness is now gone, so to the beach and the sea she must return.

In fact, the novel ends with Edna swimming in the gulf waters off of Grand Isle and closes with this enigmatic paragraph:

She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again. Edna heard her father's voice and her sister Margaret's. She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air. (Chopin 1976, 114)

Of course the inference of Edna's suicide has more to support it than this passage, as the book's critics have pointed out, but the supporting evidence has often been contradictory, as we shall see.

For some readers Edna's suicide presents an aesthetic problem. Death has been brought in as an easy way of resolving the action of so many narratives that it can seem predictable and unconvincing. Furthermore, what Kate Chopin intended by ending her narrative where she did is obscured by the lack of strictly delineated literary conventions to guide us in reading novels like The Awakening. Certainly the sort of "unfinished" ending we find there is more familiar in our era than it was in hers, especially in films, and the novel has also learned to avoid giving itself over to predictable conventions. It is exactly this quality that prompted Bakhtin to give it preeminence in our century.

chelseah said...

Do you guys think that Edna's suicide was ultimately a success of a failure?

chelseah said...

**success or a failure, sorry.

matt said...

personally meghan, i would have had Edna have sex with robert, her husband walks in on them, and the two men have an eipc battle to the death. Edward wins, and him and Edna run off to Mexico and live happily ever after. but thats just me :)

jordanc said...

I think Robert knew that he could never truly be with Edna and I think this made him realize that it wasn't really worth it. Yes, they could've continued to go behind Mr. P's back and the rest of society, but I think Robert didn't want that.

briang said...

Meghan, first of all if I were given the power to end the story, I would have extended it to explain some things like what happened to Robert. But if I wrote the ending, Edna would become the strongest character, complete her awakening, and finally persue her love with Robert. I believe that has a better message for this book.

nathanm said...

Edna's suicide is a complete failure. she accimplishes nothing and just validates her weakness.

kaylaf said...

Do you think that Edna's death was to make a statement or about an emotional tornment inside that she wants to vanish?

karib said...

Megan, I like you question.

Like you, I found the ending very unsatisfying, and I would either have her suffer at the end for her selfish indecisivness, or atleast have an epiphany that her life had no value at the end. I think that she died for no purpose, and her death has no meaning.

TomR said...

Honestly, I probably would have ended the story the same way; I couldn't get rid of Edna fast enough.

Blair said...

I have a question! what do you think the significance of this passae at the very end of the novel, " she looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant then sank again"

How is this important?

DeclanH said...

I agree wholeheartedly with fitz. I think that's probably the best possible ending

Lane C. said...

Matt I like your version better!

I think her suicide was ultimately a success for every poor sap forced to be around this woman and a failure for her. She causes everyone to be miserable and takes no responsibility for it.

ShannonH said...

Meghan~
That is so true!! I mean she is kind of a little looser so ther is the possibility of pregnancy... maybe that is the reason that she killed herself, not only to save her self and happiness, but to also save her unborn child form the world! I really like your article! Good work, solider.

jordanc said...

I would've ended this story in a similar way to Fitz. I would have had Mr. P catch Edna doing something either with Robert or Arobin and to get caught. Then I would have EDNA get in huge trouble, making her finally come to her senses and quit being such a pansy. (spelling? ha)

Blair said...

Do you think she killed herself to "get back at" Robert? as a way to show him and herself how she really feels

jimmym92 said...

Just the fact that she commited suicide was obviously a success (she is dead). But it accomplished nothing, The begining she almost drowned when Robert left and now she died when he left for good. If the water represents freedom, can she not be free without Robert? and if this is true would the rest of us stay alive with no freedom?, wow that went in an entirely different diferection than i originally intended.

jimmym92 said...

Just the fact that she commited suicide was obviously a success (she is dead). But it accomplished nothing, The begining she almost drowned when Robert left and now she died when he left for good. If the water represents freedom, can she not be free without Robert? and if this is true would the rest of us stay alive with no freedom?, wow that went in an entirely different diferection than i originally intended.

Madisonm said...

Do you ever think that maybe Robert only loved Edna because he could never have her? Like, had she been available to him, without Leonce or a marriage attached, he may not have been as attracted to her? Just a thought.

kaylaf said...

I agree with a lot of you. I think that Edna was selfish and had no development over the length of the novel. This might sound mean, but I feel that she didn't deserve to have a happy ending and that her death was a fair way to end the book.

Blair said...

I think for Edna suicide was the easy way out, she didn't have to face her problems and resolve them nor did she have to try and overcome her infatuations.

ShannonH said...

hey guys,

What do you think the moral for this story is supposed to be? What should we walk away with form this story? Is this what the author wanted? HUH???

karib said...

Blair- I really do think that Edna died to get back at Robert, however I feel that was a very unfair thing to do because I think he made one of the most responsible decisions of the entire book by leaving her.

chelseah said...

Blair, I think it was a way to show Robert how she really feels, but I don't think it was in a revenge sense. I think she was so desperate for an easy way out of everything going on, and wanted him to know her true feelings, so suicide was in her opinion the best decision.

matt said...

blair- back to your fist question, i think it meant that this was the ultimate confirmation of her awakening. she knew that what she was doing was against the social norms, but then realised that she didnt really care about the norms any more, and commited suicide in the ultimate defiance.

jordanc said...

Kari,
Didn't Edna kind of suffer enough already? I mean I'm not saying I feel bad for her, becuase I definitely do not, but she did suffer. Having the "love of her life" come back and then leave again immediately was obviously tough on her. She was trapped in this weird mindset where she didn't really know who she was and who she belonged to, who she should love, and what she wanted to do with her life. Then once Robert left her again forever, it just drove her to seeing that the only thing she could do to end what she was feeling was suicide. I think in a way that is suffering.

Blair said...

I wish after she killed herself that we could see the reaction of others, and how Arobin, Leonce, and Robert felt and what was said or done about her choice

Liz said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she has been sucked into such a deep depression because of her actions that now she has nothing left to gain and everything to lose. She gets so bad that even the weather makes her depressed.

The mind is largely dominated by instinct and impulse, messages from the center of her being, that elusive "self" which according to Edna is the only thing she will never give up. In her awakening, she does indeed become a more natural being, but her growing freedom from social restraints is accompanied by a growing subjection to moods changing with the weather and the time of day. "The weather [is] dark and cloudy," and she finds herself unable to paint;15 her lover, Arobin, finds her in an exceptionally happy mood, sitting in front of the fire with the mere prospect of a barometric improvement. Her highs get higher and her lows get lower; she becomes as changeable and unpredictable as the elements, even acquiring a "seductive voice"16 like the sea itself.

Lane C. said...

I completely agree Blair. That is exactly how I read the ending of the book. Her suicide was the ultimate selfish act. She left her family and her friends to sort through her problems.

karib said...

Shannon- I think the entire point of this story is to show that people don't know what they want until it's gone. Edna didn't really feel all that attracted to Robert until he left. I think it has to deal with her intense desire for attention.

ShannonH said...

Does anyone else think that Robert is as pathetic as Edna? I mean, he did leave her and run from his probelms, and he is very flighty and unsatisfying as Edna! Are they doppelgangers? Are we supposed to pity or hate them? I can't decide!

jordanc said...

Shannon,
For some reason I feel that there is no moral to the story. Possibly becuase Edna was amoral. (Ha use of vocab word.) Edna had no idea what was right and what was wrong. I think the author was just trying to demonstrate that in her novel.

TomR said...

I think Robert's sudden arrival and departure is a testament to her own mental instability. She clearly has a lot of trouble fostering consistent relationships, so she chooses to detach herself from the world completely. GOOD GOING, EDNA.

erikaw said...

What lines could have been drawn?

Blair said...

When it says that "exhaustion was pressing upon her and overpowering her" how much of this do you think is physical and how much is just a mental release???

CMeghan said...

I'm starting an Arobin fan club. Is anyone interested?

Hannah J said...

Shannon-
I think that the moral of this story is that it's necessary to find yourself before you end up losing yourself. I think that was Edna's problem. She never actually found out who she was and didn't have anything to live for in the end.

Also, another moral could be having confidence in yourself. Edna needed Robert to live and when she realized that she couldn't have him, she gave up on life. You can't always depend on other people to lean on, sometimes you just have to depend on yourself.

karib said...

Jordan, I probably should have worded that differently. I didn't want to see her suffer in terms of physical pain, but I wanted her to recognize the pain that she causes others. I think she is extremely ignorant to her effects on others.

jordanc said...

Shannon again,
I totally agree with you that Robert is just as pathetic as Edna, if not more pathetic. It takes a spineless guy to just leave after she begs him to wait for her.

kaylaf said...

Shannon, I honestly think that there is not one big moral to take away from this story. If anything I think the reader should learn from Edna's mistakes and grow in a way that she didn't. Like that people should stick up for themselves and not jump into relationships with both feet befoer testing out the water. You know? I think the author wanted you to walk away with something to ponder, and she accomplished that.

DeclanH said...

That's what I was thinking, Shannon. They seem like a mirror image of each other. I don't especially like either one of them, and I think they deserve each other.

jimmym92 said...

did/is Edna really having or have an Awakening. It just seemed like she went beyond her little world and repetedly left her family for other people. It just seems like Edna is a bad person. When so many people did so many things for her she killed herself because she was too much of a wimp to do anything else. Edna just seemed evil to me.

Madisonm said...

Meghan, should I end the story, I dont know if I would change too muchl; only because I wouldnt want to change the point Chopin is getting at. but I kind of wish that Edna had more thoroughly thought about her suicide. To me, when it happens, it seems like an accident that she just gives in to. Maybe I interpretted it wrong, but it seemed to me that it just sort of happened; that she didnt really plan it. Once she was to weak to carry on, she just decides to give up--which is essentially what it seemed like she was doing the entire story: giving up, slowly. I would have just liked to better understand her actual death/reasons behind it. It could have very well been an accident she could not escape, but I think the ending could have been better had she thought it through and decided to kill herself. But then again, that could have been exactly what Chopin wanted to convey: Edna experiencing drowing and giving up instead of fighting it.

ShannonH said...

Do you think that the sea changed it's symbolic meaning at the end of the novel? I do, from the giver of life and happiness to the ultimate sadness and the inage of death. What do you think? Do you think it changed earlier in the novel or no? Does Robert have anything to do with it?

erikaw said...

I'll join your fan club Meghan!!!! :)

KylieYoum said...

Shannon - We are supposed to feel pity for the hole they are in and how ignorant they are to the whole world and how to fix their problems. But then we are supposed to be angry at the way that they treat others and do things in the world, without reason or whatnot.

Liz said...

I agree with Keri. I feel like she thinks she is the center of the universe and she doesn't care about the effects of what she does. She is compleatly careless and thinks that everyone should love and appreciate her and come back when she is struggling.

Hannah J said...

Blair-
I think that mostly, all of that was just a mental release from what had been going on in her life. We had talked before about whether we thought Edna was a strong or weak character and I think that in this respect Edna was weak. She doesn't have the mental capacity to remain strong through hard times and losing Robert permanently just put her over the edge. So after everything that is going on, she finally just gave up.

matt said...

jordan, i think that was the moral to the story. make sure you have morals, or else you will eventually loose your way. in a way, its kind of telling the reader to confrom to society, even though this is kind of against the whole plot of the novel

jordanc said...

Blair,
I also wish that we could've seen how the people of that society would've reacted to Edna's death. It would've been really interesting if the three men in her life (Mr. P, Arobin, and Robert) all came together and talked about her. That would've started something interesting.

TomR said...

Some people earlier mentioned that the ending of the novel made the rest of the story "pointless"--is Edna merely becoming "awakened" to the futility of her own life (maybe life in general? :\

kaylaf said...

Meghan I agree with you. I don't know why but I never completely trusted Robert. There was something about him that I wasn't buying. But I also think that Edna did't deserve him. He is this great catch and she is a cold fish. Robert was the better match for her in the way that he was deceitful and lying. But I do like Arobin.

matt said...

shannon- i think the sea has always represented Edna's awakening, and in the beginning it shows the positives of being awakened, and at the end it shows the negatives

Blair said...

DO you think that Edna was afraid to commit suicide? Why or why not?

CMeghan said...

Matt: There is nothing better than an epic battle to the death, hahaha! Great idea.

Jordan and Declan: Hooray for Matt's idea ;)

Brian: That was a super sophisticated and quite lovely idea for an ending. I would like that as well!

Kari and Tom: Gosh yes, I know! Tom, I think the story should have been about Arobin. No Edna featured, laughlaugh.

Shannon: Thanks dear!

Lane C. said...

I don't think that Edna ever HAD an awakening. The novel is totally misnamed. She goes from a woman is incapable of helping herself and making decisions to a woman who is incapable of helping herself so she just kills herself. I see no journey there.

nathanm said...

I think Edna merely is awakened to the futility of her own life.

Liz said...

I think that her death takes place in the sea because it is a form of redemption. The sea always symbolized freedom for her and now she is being freed from her life. It is a place of happiness for her and she wants to finally be truely happy.

jimmym92 said...

Shannon- The sea represents freedom in a way because it showed her how confined she was but she needs Robert to help her be free as she found out when she almost drowned earlier in the book when Robert was gone. When Robert leaves she is lost in all the "freedom" with no guidence. She had experienced too much and was in too deep to get out so she had to die. She "dorwned" in the freedom she found from a summer love.

Hannah J said...

Jimmy-
I think that Edna sort of has an Awakening, but not really in a good way. She just realizes that she cannot survive without Robert in her life so she just gives up. That is her awakening...realizing that she can't go on without him.

Not a very strong one if you ask me.

karib said...

Blair, I am not even sure she was consciously trying to commit suicide. I think it is something that just happened without her really knowing it.

DeclanH said...

I agree with liz. The sea seems to play a large role in this novel, and it seems to be a fairly large part of her "awakening". The fact that she dies in the sea is pretty appropriate, as it is kind of the final part of her awakening.

kaylaf said...

Answering Mrs. Leclaire's question, I think she ended her life in the sea because that's where she became free. Her first swim was her awakening and this is when she feels her escape from her old life and she starts her new one. She needed to end her life in the see to feel that completion from being awake to being dormant in a way.

Hannah J said...

Blair-
In the end, I don't think that Edna was afraid to commit suicide. Though she was afraid of the ocean before, she is not now. It's almost as though she's overcoming her fear of the ocean, only in a negative way.

CMeghan said...

Shannon,

Off of what you were saying with the ocean: I love the ocean because it makes me feel so powerful and safe.

But whenever I look at it I also feel lonely, and a little sad.

In The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd which I read for ALIS, the character August says "every woman should keep a seashell in her bathroom to remind her of where she came from, of her home."

Do you think the ocean is a type of home for every person? How does the ocean make you feel?

Madisonm said...

Tom, maybe her awakening is really the realization of the fragility of her life. Maybe she finally realizes that everything she chose to do or pursue, ends up affecting her life. I think she realizes that in hopes of gaining the things she loves, Edna really ended up forcing the things she loves away from her, unintentionally. Maybe she is awakened to the consequence of her actions, and she is not able to deal with it...hence leading to her accomplishing something: suicide. Could it be considered an accomplishment? or her downfall? just a thought...

Blair said...

Kari-
Thats what I was thinking as weel, I don't think she went out with the intention of killing herself. I think the whole situation was just all entirely symbolic. With the swimming and not looking back, and being exhausted. I don't think she was a brave enough character to commit suicide with a definite purpose. I see her suicide as cowardly and unpurposeful. (not saying that suicide is the answer at anytime)

Liz said...

I don't think that she was planning to commit suicide. She did not think about killing herself for along time, but when she was in the ocean, she realized that it was the thing to do.

erikaw said...

GREAT DISCUSSION EVERYONE SEE YA NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!! :)

clewis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clewis said...

Sorry did not complete my thought; the reason Edna committed suicide is that she is in a society where she can no longer have her freedom and what she desires. I think that she feels freedom in the ocean; it is a symbol of freedom.

erinl said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because… to her, there is no other way to solve her problems and find complete happiness
...There is no way around it: Edna Pontellier was misled, her awakening ends with the Big Sleep...The Awakening is a story of what happens when a woman does not accept her place in the home. The novel moves us because it illustrates the need for women's psychological, physical, social, and sexual emancipation--the goals of feminists in the twentieth century as well as the nineteenth. In its picture of the particular limitations placed upon women, the novel belongs to the tradition of feminist criticism a century ago, a tradition which embraces both fiction and social commentary. It is a tradition which literary historians still generally ignore.

shaunam said...

"The Awakening slept on forever and never had an awakening? Does that sudden condition of change from sleep to consciousness bring with it happiness?"

I think that Edna should not have committed suicide. I also think that she started and ended her "awakening" with water, as in the quote above, she never would have committed suicide if she hadn't been awakened and just stayed repressed forever. Blocking out guilt only drove her to make the decision she did.

tanal said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because there is no possible way for her to deal with all the problems she has caused and she can no longer live in complete happiness.

"From this point onwards, there is no indication that Edna is acting with deliberate intent to end her life there and then. She puts on her swimming costume and leaves her clothes in the bath-house, just as if she were going for "a little swim, before dinner,"5 as she declares she will. Previously she has announced that she is hungry and stated her preference for the evening meal. This is perceived as a sign of an undiminished healthy appetite by the same critic who plainly states two pages earlier that "Edna resolves to commit suicide," failing to remark upon her paradoxical behavior.6 Is she intentionally deluding her addressee?"

Rachel L said...

"Edna's problem, if it is one, is that she cannot transcend desire without renouncing the consequences of her actions in the world she only partly wishes to transcend. This is where, I believe, Chopin's fundamental ambivalence comes in. In spite of her rejection of the social forms that constrain women, in spite of her anger at her husband for leaving her alone to face her rejection of these forms by herself, in spite of her good faith effort to develop her intellect in order to rise above her attachments to her husband's memory, she felt it a failure to sacrifice love to objective representation."

I think Edna commited suicide because everything she was striving for had fallen away from her, and the things she wanted to push away from kept drawing closer.

lauraf said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because the man (Robert) that she loves left to preserve her marriage, but really her marriage is already ruined from her feminist ‘awakening’.

“The needs that drive her, however, spring for deeper sources and seem to permit no assuaging short of delirium. And Chopin clearly indicates that the love for Robert derives in large part from the repressed longing for the mother who died before helping Edna to become a woman.”

Tina L said...

A different approach to the ending: “At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because…”

I think that Edna really actually died at the end of chapter 38, when she comes back and finds Robert’s note. Somewhere in between being excited to see Robert at the pigeon house and staying awake all night, Edna realized that she couldn’t ever possibly be happy. Even though she was willing to hurt her husband, Robert was less willing, and the words from Madame Ratignolle about “remember the children” would haunt her forever.

“Edna is not a victorious New Woman, leading an independent life of spiritual and sensual fulfillment. She is quite simply dead.”

christas said...

Edna must commit suicide because it is the ultimate act of rebellion—she is taking control of her life. If she can’t direct her own life, she will not give others control of it, either.

“Edna's willful death causes her to transcend the solely political implications of woman's revolt from social constrictions which only Dr. Mandelet with his sage detachment perceived as inspiring her flight from Léonce's control. She acquires the negative power of an awakening unto death by refusing to return to that shore of patriarchal reality”.

clewis said...

Besides, does Edna Pontellier really kill herself deliberately? The narrator suggests possible reasons in the final chapter, describing the heroine's thoughts in one of the moments of gloom to which she has been prone; however, there is a disclaimer following close upon the one phrase that definitely seems to hint at what is to follow. One would have expected a new paragraph to begin, as the narrative moves from flashback to actuality, from the preceding night to Edna's last day: the lack of such a caesura makes the juxtaposition all the more striking:


Despondency had come upon her there in the wakeful night, and had never lifted. There was no one thing in the world that she desired. There was no human being whom she wanted near except Robert; and she even realised that the day would come when he, too, and the thought of him would melt out of her existence, leaving her alone. The children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her, who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul's slavery for the rest of her days. But she knew a way to elude them. She was not thinking of these things when she walked down to the beach.4

From this point onwards, there is no indication that Edna is acting with deliberate intent to end her life there and then. She puts on her swimming costume and leaves her clothes in the bath-house, just as if she were going for "a little swim, before dinner,"5 as she declares she will. Previously she has announced that she is hungry and stated her preference for the evening meal. This is perceived as a sign of an undiminished healthy appetite by the same critic who plainly states two pages earlier that "Edna resolves to commit suicide," failing to remark upon her paradoxical behavior.6 Is she intentionally deluding her addressee?

Brynn Holstein said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she had no where else to go. Edna feels that this is her only option; to end her life the same way that it began, with water. “The Awakening' is the sad story of a Southern lady who wanted to do what she wanted to. From wanting to, she did, with disastrous consequences; but as she swims out to sea in the end, it is to be hoped that her example may lie for ever undredged.”

juliab said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because... she knows no way that she can be happy with the weight of love and regret on her shoulders.

"
On the night when Mandelet realizes this, Mrs. Pontellier presents herself as a capable inventor and teller of stories. She enthralls her audience, but at the cost of getting lost in her own inventions: it is certainly legitimate to see this as a reference to the dangers of Kate Chopin's own chosen calling, especially when one considers the number of times the word "fictitious" is used in a pejorative sense in the novel. As much as the author of her story, Edna is treading on thin ice. Her doom is sealed when "all sense of reality had gone out of her life; she had abandoned herself to Fate, and awaited the consequences with indifference."28

But her death is not brought on by fate, and neither is it merely the inevitable consequence of her own actions. The final departure of Robert, the man she loves, obviously has a lot to do with it, but equally important is the event which is reported in Chapter 27, the birth of a child to Edna's friend Adèle Ratignolle."

"When she is persuaded by Adèle to be with her at the birth, she stays and watches "with a flaming, outspoken revolt against the ways of Nature," finally being admonished by her friend to "think of the children."

JoshB901 said...

At the end of the novel Edna must commit suicide because to truly release herself from the male dominated test she must sever all bonds from this world. Edna’s awakening depends on her being independent and “free” and unfortunately while Edna still has children she is shackled to their demands and the authority of other males. Edna must die to end her dependency on her children and her children’s dependency on Edna. Essentially Edna has freed herself from Nature’s and Society’s stereotypical grip.


“Given that Edna is pregnant, their conversation becomes so rich in interpretive consequences that it is tempting to simply quote it in full. A few highlighted passages, however, might suffice for purposes of exemplification: "'I want to be let alone. Nobody has any right--except children, perhaps--and even then, it seems to me--or it did seem--' She felt that her speech was voicing the incoherency of her thoughts, and stopped abruptly" (171). The Doctor, "grasping her meaning intuitively," offers her the odd assurance that "Nature takes no account of moral consequences." He then tells her that "you seem to me to be in trouble. I am not going to ask you for your confidence. I will only say that if ever you feel moved to give it to me, perhaps I might help you. I know I would understand, and I tell you there are not many who would--not many, my dear" (my emphasis; the expression "in trouble" was already established as a euphemism for a pregnancy outside wedlock--the OED citations with this meaning are both dated 1891). She finishes her next "incoherent" speech with "still, I shouldn't want to trample upon the little lives. Oh! I don't know what I'm saying, Doctor. Good night. Don't blame me for anything," and he responds, "Yes, I will blame you if you don't come and see me soon. We will talk of things you never have dreamt of talking about before" (171-72).”

maria k said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because her mind capacity is overwhelmed with the liberation from her awakening.

“The wish to fend off the condemnation by narrow-minded moralists, he claims, may have led Kate Chopin to mete out a kind of "poetic justice"13 that would drown all objections in a sea of tears, thus diminishing the figure of her heroine…”

Laine G said...

Edna must commit suicide because it shows that getting too far into feminism causes people to no longer be able to handle all the influences of the world. She got so far into the ocean of feminism it drove her crazy.

Damian L. said...

At the of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because of her new out look on life cannot allow her to survive in their present world, where she cannot have what she desires, the freedom to do as she wants.

“I would suggest another explanation for the contradiction. In the final chapter, Edna Pontellier is described as acting "rather mechanically."7 The thinking is over and done, though after all the reflections of the previous night, Edna is not consciously carrying out a plan but, rather, absent-mindedly walking towards her death. She is like a somnambulist, mesmerised by her ultimate seducer, the sea, of which she would have been more wary if she--like the reader--had been made aware of the satanic quality in its voice by the plethora of sharp "s" sounds in the description:
The water of the gulf stretched before her, gleaming with the million lights of the sun. The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.8”

Annika_EP said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she can’t live with the guilt of her mistakes. She probably didn’t, but that is what I hoped. At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she obviously couldn’t find a way out of the feminist hole that she dug for herself. She was driven because Robert left her, and that basically put an end to her feminist plots, because she couldn’t cheat anymore, when the one she loved didn’t want her. She didn’t have anything else, she didn’t have another alternative, even though she actually did.

"At the end of her process of awakening, which begins with a summer infatuation and leads to a breakaway from the family home and from the role of wife and mother, Edna is not a victorious New Woman, leading an independent life of spiritual and sensual fulfillment. She is quite simply dead."

maddyg said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because…for her there really was not any living left to do. She was so emotionally drained that she allowed herself to forget all of her thoughts and succumb to temptation of the sea.

“The thinking is over and done, though after all the reflections of the previous night, Edna is not consciously carrying out a plan but, rather, absent-mindedly walking towards her death. She is like a somnambulist, mesmerized by her ultimate seducer, the sea…”

-Manfred Malzahn

emilya said...

Assuming the role of the courageous soul, one who "dares and defies," she indicates no desire to return or to be rescued.

christas said...

So...what is the significance that Edna dies in the same waters where she began her awakening?

erinl said...

I agree with Liz S,
I don't think that she was planing to commit suicide, but when she got out into the ocean, it was an impulse.

saram said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she can’t handle the stress she is feeling from her life anymore and couldn’t find a different way out.

Brynn Holstein said...

Why do you think that Edna started her "awakening" with the sea and ended the same way?

clewis said...

Christa-
The ocean represents freedom. This is where she was awakened as well, but she was also repressed when she is out of the water. Since she can not be free in the society, she goes to the only place where she can be free.

endsleye said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she has made some many mistakes in her life and she could think of no other way to solve her problems.

lauraf said...

brynn...the sea like we have talked about before is really a freeing but dangerous body and the fact that she start and ended her awkening journey with the sea just metaphorically connects why she had to commit suicide and how her life was over because she couldn't find a way out.

Rachel L said...

Perhaps drowning is symbolic of Edna's feeling of being completely overwhelmed. When you drown, you're completely surrounded by water (lyk srsly). Maybe Edna feels so pressed in by her children and her husband and losing Robert that she feels suicide is only way to alleviate her problems.

tanal said...

I agree with Sara I think that Edna could no longer handle the stress and the problems she ceated for herself so committing suicide was her only option

maddyg said...

I never thought of that connection before Christa, that's really cool. Is that trying to say that her awakening leads to her death? That isn't really feministic is it?

Hannah S said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because her recent realizations made her realize her oppression. Also, Robert leaving her, the only person that could consistently make her happy, caused her so much pain. She was so depressed that suicide was her only way out.

JoshB901 said...

What does Adele mean by "remember the children"? In Edna's fight for independency killing her children and drive them away or is her awakening confusing the children forcing them to go through their own awakening?

clewis said...

We have learned from experience and from the Yellow Ribbon assembly that suicide is not the answer; if she did not commit suicide, what could she have done instead? Is there any way that there is another way?

carr_l_ey_b said...

why does everyone act like edna knows she is a feminist, i dont think that though ever crosses her mind

Lara McDougald said...

As Edna was walking down to the beach, she sees a bird with a broken wing. Who/What do you think this bird represents?

jberry said...

Brynn--
I think that she did use the sea as a way to push her forward. She was captivated by the sense of freedom, like the wings.
So what does this say about the cycle...? Does everything come back around,what to you think is Chopin's take on it?

maddyg said...

Do you guys think that it was better for Edna to have an awakening and die, or stay in her old life and living?

erinl said...

I there anyone that liked the ending of the book?

shaunam said...

Endsley--
I agree I think that throughout the entire novel, she had a volcano of built up guilt that she kept ignoring, and eventually it caught up with her.

My question is, why doesn't she turn back when she has flash backs of Robert and how happy he made her feel?

endsleye said...

brynn,
i think that she started and ended her "awakening" because the ocean just kind of has that thing about it. When you go to the ocean and you just look out at it, it is so mysterious and huge. It makes you think of other things and it opens your mind. It just seems to have that power to it.

Hannah S said...

I think that that bird repressents Edna. At the end, just before her death, it shows the thing that carries her, once broken, is no longer of use, and it is what pulls you down.

maddyg said...

Is it possible that Edna was trying to hurt people by dying or was she only thinking of herself?

shaunam said...

Erin--
I personally didn't really like it but responding to Kristen in the middle, was it a sign of newfound strength or total weakness when she committed suicide? What does the ocean mean to her?

christas said...

Josh-
I was wondering the same thing. I also thought it was interesting because on page 181-182, Edna remembers when she gave birth to one of her children, and it seems like a tragedy for her. Why do you think this is? Did having children signify the end of Edna's freedom?

erinl said...

Maddy,
I think that Edna should have stayed in her old life and lived. She left so many people behind when she commited suicided. In a way, I thought that she was selfish leaving her old life for something that she thought might be better.

christas said...

Josh-
I was wondering the same thing. I also thought it was interesting because on page 181-182, Edna remembers when she gave birth to one of her children, and it seems like a tragedy for her. Why do you think this is? Did having children signify the end of Edna's freedom?

lauraf said...

shauna...doesn't Robert leave?

clewis said...

True Carly-
How do you know if you are a feminist? You probably don't just come out and say "I'm having an Awakening, so therefore I'm a feminist".

endsleye said...

Shauna,
That's a good question. There is this quote that i've seen that says "do not regret anything that once made you smile" it seems like she has those flash backs and then regrets having those times with Robert. Or something. I am not really sure.

jberry said...

Do you think that Edna transcended? Or, was her attempt helpless?

emilya said...

Lara-- the bird's broken wings represents that her strength is gone and she cannot ocntinue on.

Laine G said...

What do you think the importance of clothing is? There are many instances mentioning what she is wearing (and not wearing). Some of these include her Tuesday dress versus her weekend dress and then at the end when she is naked she feels "like some new-born creature."

JoshB901 said...

ErinL- I liked the ending of the book. I think it provided a profound message of we try to escape but only death can truly set us free. Not that I’m saying death is an altogether good thing but that it seems we are always shackled to this world in some way or another.

maria k said...

Christa--I think the water is the only place where she felt truely free, away from the oppression of everyone else.

Rachel L said...

Maybe broken wings mean broken dreams. After all, whim and wing sound kind of similar. The brid with the broken wing flutters down to the ocean, same as Edna loses herself in the ocean, and Edna commits suicide after her dreams of being with Robert are dashed.

lauraf said...

Endsley...do you think she misses Robert as a person or the love derived from him and how she felt from his treatment?

erinl said...

Shauna,
I thought that her commiting suicide was a sign of weakness. She gives up on her life and the road that she choose to follow.

Damian L. said...

Did the new Edna drive Robert away? “‘If he (Mr. Pontellier) were to say, 'Here, Robert, take her and be happy, she is yours,' I should laugh at you both.’”

maddyg said...

On what Tina just said about solitude, that is what Edna renamed Mademoiselle Reisz's song before Robert left and she kept on crying. what is the connection between that song and the solitude of the sea?

saram said...

laura.
I think she just misses the way she felt when she was with Robert. I don't know if she really truly fell in love with him, but I think she fell in love with the way she felt with him.

shaunam said...

Josh--

But wasn't she just trying to escape the guilt and pain?

emilya said...

maddy-- i think she was thinking only of herself. I think throughout the whole novel she is selfish and always wanting to just do things for herself. She always said how she never wanted to belong to anyone too.

Laine G said...

The ocean and how far she swims into it are an obvious symbol of femmenism and how far into it she was.

What other symbols do you think represent femenism?

Also, what other things could the ocean represent?

christas said...

Laine-
Maybe the clothing represented Edna's role as a woman. Women during that time were confined by corsets and all of that oppressive clothing, so in the end, when Edna takes off all of her clothes, she is freeing herself. She is no longer tied down by her feminine appearance or roles.

jberry said...

Erin--
The ocean is a symbolism for freedom. It's so unique in that it can be completely serene and then the next minute it can be completely rocky, like Edna. I think that Edna lived like the ocean, she did have mood swings up and down, but in the end she needed to rise above, she needed to find something that accepted her, something that she understood. And to her, that was the ocean.

endsleye said...

Laura,
I actually tink that she misses the love derived from him and how she felt from his treatment.

endsleye said...

Like Tina just said...

Do you think that Robert believes that women are property of men?

jberry said...

Shauna---
I don't think that she was looking for an out, I believe she was looking for a way of acceptance. Like the inner-circle is saying, people want to feel accepted.

Lara McDougald said...

I think that she wanted to be free and transcend all the constrictions of society. The sea is so open and sublime. I think that she wanted to be dissolved into the sea and be truly free and belong to no one.

maddyg said...

Erin- that's interesting I kind of feel that way too, like when a parent committs suicide in today's world to me its like saying that they don't love their children enough to stick it out even if life is tough for them. Then again Edna probably didn't love her kids that much anyways. Boy they are going to be messed up.

maria k said...

Maddy--I think she took Madame's song and renamed it to make it her own, because Reitz's way of being free was through song, like Edna's way of freedom is the sea.

clewis said...

I remember that my Mom said that when she went to Hawaii, she would stand in the ocean for hours and just feel the waves rush upon her. She felt so peaceful and happy when she was standing there.

Maybe Edna was trying to find peace...and she succeeded.

erinl said...

Jess
I agree, I think that the ocean was the place for her to be when she died. I liked what someone said in the inner circle, how her awakening started in the ocean, and ended there as well.

christas said...

Do you guys think that Robert had true love for Edna? I think that he really loved her because although he wanted her as a wife, he was willing to let her go because he knew the pain that it would cause her husband, her children, and her reputation. However, I guess you could argue that Robert left Edna out of cowardice, but I personally think he did it for more honorable reasons.

JoshB901 said...

Christa-
I don't think that Edna's children are the end of her freedom. I don't think she ever achieved true freedom, no matter what she was always dependent on a male or female. She seemed in the shadow of everyone, she really never found and expressed her individuality.

shaunam said...

jberry-

How can she be accepted when she's gone though? Won't people question it and not understand why she did it?

endsleye said...

clewis,
do you mean Edna found her peace by drowning herself? or what?

maddyg said...

If Mr. Pontellier knew what would be the outcome for Edna, do you think he would have treated her differently and tried to prevent it?

lauraf said...

Shauna...I definitely think that people will question her reasoning behind committing suicide, especially since they always said how great of a hustband she had, but they also didn't understand the oppression she was living.

maria k said...

Maddy--I don't think he could have made that big of a change in his attitude quickly enough for Edna to be ok. She demanded so much.

erinl said...

Maddy
I totally agree. I think that commiting suicide is terrible, but I also think its weak. Tons of people go though really hard times but you should always stick it out and fight. There are so many people that get left behind, and I feel that when people commit suicide don't think about anyone but themselves. Annika said, that it's not fair when people leave their family just because they want to. I don't think family is a choice.

clewis said...

Endsley-
Yeah that's what I mean. She found peace when she died.

The only problem is, is that she will leave her family uneasy and not at peace; do you think that crossed her mind when she died?

Damian L. said...

Maddy-
I think that she wasn’t even thinking about anyone else besides them relating to her. Maybe she saw this as an escape from all her problems, and being shackled to her kids.

christas said...

Josh-
If Edna's children didn't signify the end of her freedom, why do think she had such a strange relationship with them? One minute she would love them, like the time she went to visit them at Iberville, and other times, she would ignore them. I think that she loved her children when they were far away because they were not her burden anymore, and when they were at home with her, she ignored them because they tied her down. What do you think?

shaunam said...

From the inside--

Thats also like can you be a good faithful mother and still be feminist? I think that in this book it was proven false. I think they are able to coexist, but it totally depends on the people.

clewis said...

Inner circle:
Would you rather choose to be a feminist or have a true love?

Oh never mind, Carley just talked about this...

JoshB901 said...

On the inner circle they just said that females are always suppressed. I disagree. Men today are more suppressed then women, some corporations hire more women then men because they don't want to appear sexists. I mean I believe that females are better at some things than males; I know that Jessica Berry can shoot a pellet gun better than I can, but men seemed to be more suppressed today in a time of political correctness.

Lara McDougald said...

At the end of the novel, Edna must commit suicide because she has no where else in society. She has abandoned her family, her friends, and now Robert has left. She wants to be overcome by the spirit which first freed her – the sea.

I couldn't find a literary criticism that went along with my opinion.

I found a text in the book that supported my idea though. "There are periods of despondency and suffering which take possession of me. But I don't want anything but my own way" (Chopin 184). "THe voice of the sea is seductive ... inviting the soul to wander into the abysses of solitude" (Chopin 189).

Rachel L said...

I noticed we're all talking about how Edna went and left her kids and family when she commited suicide...could that be what Alece ment when she whispered "remember the children." Could Alece have instinctivly known of Edna's plan to abandon her children?

clewis said...

So if a feminist has equal rights to men, then why can't they have true love? Men have true love also.

endsleye said...

clewis,
no i dont think that crossed her mind when she died because i believe she was just thinking of herself the whole time. i think she was more concerned with her feeling at peace and happy.

emilya said...

maddy-- good question! I don't think he would have tried to prevent her outcome becuase he left her in the first place so that he would not be in the way of her marriage, even when he knew she was unhappy. If he knew that she was not happy and going to kill herself, he still wouldn't have treated her any different.

shaunam said...

clewis--

What about the issue from a few days ago about love and lust? If men want lust, then would it be able to happen?

Damian L. said...

Why do most men believe feminists to hate men and that some are homosexual? Also why do most people see feminism as the hatred of men?

saram said...

I agree with caitlin. If a man can have true love than isn't it an equal right for a women to have true love. I think we're missing the point by saying that in the story Edna goes against her husband and other men because she's a feminist. I think she acts this way because it's the only way for her to make a much needed change in her life, not because she is trying to make a point.

erinl said...

Josh
I agree with you. I think that men are being told that they can't be sexist and women pull the sexist card every time they think something is unfair. I think that feminism is a thing of the past in most situations.

clewis said...

I'm sorry Shauna, I'm a little confused; what would be able to happen?

endsleye said...

caitlin,
i do believe that they can have true love and be feminist. because if feminism is just equal rights to men then i dont really see how true love has to do with it though.

saram said...

I think feminism is viewed as the hatred of men because men were originally the ones that started the feelings of women being inferior and now they are mostly only men who still think this.

shaunam said...

Sorry Caitlin! haha i meant, how could true love exist, if, according to the discussion a few days ago, men only want lust?

JoshB901 said...

Christa-
I think that Edna was confused about her children; she related them to her husband and his authority. But when she experienced her awakening she became a child. She looked around the world with new eyes and experienced things that once scared. She then could relate her children because she was a child.

christas said...

Did anyone else notice that Edna's suicide was like her vision whenever she heard "Solitude"? When she hears "Solitude", Edna thinks of "the figure of a man standing beside a desolate rock on the seashore. He was naked. Hia attitude was one of hopeless resignation as he looked toward a distant bird winging its flight away from him" (Chopin 44). When Edna commits suicide, she is naked, in the sea, and a bird with a broken wing is struggling to fly. What is the significance of this parallel?

Lara McDougald said...

In many of the stories, we say that the house represents the main character. How does the "pigeon house" represent Edna?

maddyg said...

Damien-Is skewed feminism (hating men) possibly just like their need to have a scapegoat?

clewis said...

Sara-
I disagree. Men were not the only ones that started the oppression. Many women in the past have felt fine with the everyday society.

Think of Titanic; Rose hated her life style, but her mother loved it.

Lara McDougald said...

Wow! I never connected the music "solitude" with her death. I think that this is what she was trying to obtain. She wanted to leave the society she knew she could never exist in. She killed herself so she could be alone with just her true self.

Dev said...

shauna, I think that the lust men feel kind of relate to how they end up having the shallow relationship. What Edna wanted was a true love but she couldn't find that in the men becasue during that time period. Men didn't really know how to love women how they need to be loved because the women wanted a true love while the men just wanted lust. I think that Edna and her husband represent how her husband wanted just lust and only really cared about the image. Where Edna really cared about how she felt about him and wanted something more than just the image, not really caring about what other people think in the community. I also think that the similarity with all women is that they want someone to love and someone who will love them for who they are. I don't think it really matters if you are a feminist or not.

_annaw_ said...

[yes, I know, this is a little late, and I'm not in your class, but I really wanted to say 'hi' and discuss this]

I think that it's not that Edna, "must" have commited suicide, but rather that she, "did."

I know that some people get so numb with emotions or stress that they cut themselves, because they can't "feel" the pain. I think it is a similar situation with Edna when she swims and swims without stopping, just hopig to thrust all of her problems away with every stroke. And as it says in the end, she stopped and realized that she was too far from the shore and too exausted to make it back alive. So what does one do in that situation? Yell and scream even when she knows no one's there? swim back, even though she know's it is futile?
I think that she was so lost that finally the decision of whether to fight or not was made right there: she could have been miraculously saved, but her will was broken right then, which, in some ways, could be considered a greater loss than that of her life...

Anyway, it's nice to read your comments, and I wish I could simply stop in and say, "Hi!" All I can say is thanks to Mrs. Leclaire for being an awesome teacher (the honors class I'm in now? I've got an 'A' and it seems it's going to be that way for a while) and thanks to period 4 because they rule! Talk to ya later!

Anna