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The essays that follow explore other central themes of the novel, as well as locating Chopin in the tradition of American women novelists and discussing her status as a pre-modernist writer.
The title, The Awakening, paints a vague mental picture for the reader at first and does not fully portray what content the novel will possess.
After thorough reading of the novel, one can understand that the title represents the main character, Edna Pontellier’s, sexual awakening and metaphorical resurrection that takes place in the plot as opposed to not having a clue on what the plot will be about.
Her feelings begin to manifest themselves as she intends to liberate herself from her husband and run away with Robert.
He on the other hand has no intention of having a sexual affair because of the role placed upon him as a man of the Victorian era which is not to destroy families.
What is the significance of this perceived split between the "outer Edna" and the "inner Edna"? Some critics view Edna's suicide at the end of the novel as a failure to complete her escape from conventionan inability to defy society once stripped of the motivation of a man by her side.
Others view her suicide as a final awakening, a decision to give herself to the sea in a show of strength and independence that defies social expectation.
Throughout the novel, Edna feels caught between the way others see her and the way she sees herself.
Identify several moments in which this struggle is apparent, and write an essay that explains how the text portrays Edna's growing awareness of these contradicting views.