The Awakening

In the Awakening, by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier is a married woman with children. However many of her actions seem like those of a child. In fact, Edna Pontelliers?? life is an irony, in that her immaturity allows her to mature. Throughout this novel, there are many examples of this because Edna is continuously searching for herself in the novel.

One example of how Edna??s immaturity allows her to mature is when she starts to cry when Le?Vonce, her husband, says she is not a good mother. ??He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother??s place to look after children, whose on earth was it???(13). Edna, instead of telling her husband that she had taken care of her children, began to cry like a baby after her husband reprimanded her. ??Mrs. Pontellier was by that time thoroughly awake. She began to cry a little?Kshe thrust her face, steaming and wet, into the bend of her arm, and she went on crying there, not caring any longer to dry her face, her eyes, her arms,??(13,14). These tears made Edna look as if she was still a child and that she is tired of being treated as a child by her husband. These tears also showed her she did not like where she was, a sign of maturity. Her tears symbolize her first awakening.

Although the next morning, after Edna had cried the night before had to go and say good-bye to her husband because he was leaving on a business trip. Edna acted immaturely around him again when he gave her half the money he won the night before. ????It will buy a handsome wedding present for Sister Janet!?? she exclaimed, smoothing out the bills as she counted them one by one,??(15). Edna is spoiled by all of her husbands money.

Another example of how Edna??s immaturity allows her to mature is when Edna swam like a baby when she went swimming for the first time, and she had over estimated her power. ??Once she turned and looked toward the shore, toward the people she had left there. She had not gone any great distance?Kshe made no mention of her encounter with death and her flash of terror, except to say to her husband, ??I thought I should have perished out there alone.?? ??You were not so very far, my dear; I was watching you.????(48). This shows the reader that Edna is still like a baby in that her husband was watching her while she was swimming. Edna had no idea that she could even swim out that far. This helps mature Edna because it helps her realize that she can control her life.

Another example of how Edna??s immaturity allows her to mature is when she begins to think about Robert again. While her husband is away on business, Edna neglects her duties on Tuesday??s and does not stay home to see her guests. Instead, Edna goes out into the city, and at the time was considered foolish and immature to be doing. Edna would go out and visit Mademoiselle Reisz at her house. She would go to her house and read letters that Robert had written to Mademoiselle Reisz. ??Show me the letter and play for me the Impromptu. You see I have persistence. Does that quality count for anything?K??(106). This shows that Edna is now beginning to emotionally mature. She is now learning and just starting to find out about her true feelings towards Robert Lebrun. ????I love you,?? she whispered, ??only you, no one but you. It was you who awoke me last summer out of a life ?Vlong, stupid dream?Know you are here we shall love each other, my Robert. We shall be everything to each other. Nothing else in the world is of any consequence,???? (179). Edna feels as if she has matured so much in the novel that now she knows that Robert is her soul mate, her true love, and her emotional maturity. She was only able to find this maturity after cheating on her husband.

Another example is that demonstrates Edna??s road to maturity through immaturity is when she refuses to go inside. One night she chooses to go sleep outside in the hammock. Her husband tells her to come inside,