The Journey of Self-Discovery in The Awakening, a Novel by Kate Chopin

During the time period in which the Awakening took place the role of women was simple. They were like machines that could not think for themselves. Men controlled them and told them what to do. They had no say in anything but they never complained. They just accepted things the way they were.

Women had no jobs during this time. They also could not vote. All they were supposed to do is stay at home, cook, clean, and watch over the kids.

The richer women hired women to do those things for them but stayed home to watch over the hired women. They also had to mingle with upper class women to help their husbands get into a higher class.

Furthermore, their relationship with men was vapid. Many women married men they did not love because they knew these men could take care of them. The men treated them as trivial possessions and the women always obeyed their husbands. They were terrified to disobey them and possibly upset them.

They thought that they had to obey them, even though they still felt lonely and empty inside.

Similarly, Edna was married to a man she wasn’t in love with and to him she as an object. He was very arduous in what he wanted her to do around the house and in the beginning she unhappily did what she was told following her daily routine like a robot. But she knew something was still missing. Her life seemed devoid. It was very nondescript and it bored her.

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During the story she learned a lot about herself and became much more independent. She began to go out on her own and do as she pleased. Learning to swim symbolizes the first step she took towards her independence. She learned the importance of love and even got her own apartment to revitalize her life.

In conclusion, women weren’t regarded as important, equal, human beings. However, most of them accepted it without question because they didn’t know any better. But through a long journey of self-discovery Edna realizes she doesn’t have to live her life like this. She can make her own choices. And she did.

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The Journey of Self-Discovery in The Awakening, a Novel by Kate Chopin. (2022, Dec 13). Retrieved from

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