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In this phase of independence, through the absence of her husband, Edna gradually realizes her individuality and her power. When she sends her children to their grandmother, she can experience total freedom and independence. She steps out of her "expected role" of a mother, thus expressing her disapproval of the belief that women are supposed to sacrifice everything for their children.

Again, Edna's phase of dreaming is reflected by characters and symbols throughout the novel. The male character representing Edna's dreaming phase is Robert. Even though it is Robert who "awakens" sexual desires in Edna and thus is the reason for her change, he does not reflect the awakening phase. The reader soon realizes that, if Edna's relationship with Robert had been successful, she would again have been forced into the role of a "mother-woman", restricted by social conventions. I suppose this is what you would call unwomanly; but I have got into a habit of expressing myself.

It doesn't matter to me, and you may think me unwomanly if you like. Robert's views on women do not differ from that of most men at this time. He considers wives to be the possession of their husbands. This becomes obvious when he tells Edna, 'Oh! I was demented, dreaming of wild, impossible things, recalling men who had set their wives free, we have heard of such things' Awakening , In contrast to her sleeping phase, Edna disagrees openly with these views and expresses her disapproval:.

You have been a very, very foolish boy, wasting your time dreaming of impossible things when you speak of Mr. Pontellier setting me free! I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier's possessions to dispose or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, "Here, Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours," I should laugh at both of you. Awakening , p Robert finally refuses to wait for Edna and stay together with her, leaving a note that says 'I love you. Good-bye - because I love you'. The reader can see his dependency on social conventions; he loves Edna and therefore he has to leave her.

He knows the consequences their relationship would have and prefers to go the safe way. Edna's learning to swim is an important sign of her first awakening, that is an awakening from a sleeping to a dreaming phase. Though she has the ability to swim, she is still full of fears. First 'she did shout for joy, as with a sweeping stroke or two she lifted her body to the surface of the water' and 'grew daring and reckless, overestimating her strength. She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum before' Awakening , But as soon as she is in relatively far distance from the shore, she gets a feeling of panic:.

Once she turned and looked toward the shore, toward the people she had left there. She had not gone any great distance - that is, what would have been a great distance for an experienced swimmer. But to her unaccustomed vision the stretch of water behind her assumed the aspect of a barrier which her unaided strength would never be able to overcome. A quick vision of death smote her soul, and for a second of time appalled and enfeebled her senses.

Here Edna fears the unknown, and she is eager to return to the "safe shore", which at the same time is the world of restrictions and social conventions. She is not fully awakened yet. She experiences freedom and independence but she is not yet ready for it.

Edna's complete awakening goes hand in hand with her suicide, yet she has experienced a gradual awakening throughout the novel. Her dreaming phase, which is the longest of the three phases, often intermingles with the awakening phase. The reader might think several times throughout the story that Edna has awakened, only to find out that she is not yet free. Edna herself does not even know whether she is free or not when she talks to Doctor Mandelet, saying:. Perhaps - no, I'm not going. I'm not going to be forced into things. I don't want to go abroad. I want to be let alone.

Nobody has any right - except children, perhaps - and even then, it seems to me - or it did seem Edna might be independent from her husband and social conventions, but she still cannot escape from her role as a mother. She feels that she cannot gain freedom, independence and individuality because she is a mother. Edna has once said to Mme. Ratignolle 'that she would give up the unessential, but she would never sacrifice herself for the children' Awakening , She realizes that this is not possible in this society, and in order not to sacrifice herself, she has to commit suicide, and thus awaken.

Edna's awakening, which finally results in her suicide, is again reflected by various events and characters. Their relationship means a sexual awakening for Edna, as the reader can see when Edna and Arobin kiss for the first time - 'It was the first kiss of her life to which her nature had really responded.

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It was a flaming torch that kindled desire' Awakening , She plays with him and is in control of him. They do what she pleases to do and they only meet when she wants to meet. Mademoiselle Reisz is not married and has no children, lives by herself and devotes her life to music. Whereas Mme. Ratignolle 'was keeping up her music on account of the children [ She refuses to be in company of others and makes little exceptions. The description, or rather the position of Mademoiselle Reisz shows 'the old patriarchal prejudice that rejects women without men as anomalies' Giorcelli, Yet, Mademoiselle Reisz is the only one who understands Edna's conflict, even before Edna does.

She realizes that Edna is a bird in a cage who needs to escape, and even 'felt [Edna's] shoulder blades, to see if [her] wings were strong' Awakening , Even though Mademoiselle Reisz has achieved independence and individuality in this society, Edna cannot take a similar position in society, as she is married and has children.


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Edna only realizes that she is not content with her role as a wife and mother when it is too late. Mademoiselle Reisz has made her decision to be alone but independent earlier - she chose not to marry but has to live with her role as an "outsider", be it negative or positive. The third, and most important symbol for Edna's awakening is her swimming and, finally, her drowning. She now is able to swim without fear and she can experience complete freedom, because she is not drawn back to the secure but restrictive life.

When Edna removes all her clothes and swims far out, she 'did not look back now, but went on and on, thinking of the blue-grass meadow that she had traversed when she was a little child, believing that it had no beginning and no end' Awakening , The same childhood memory comes to her mind which she has described earlier, when she has stepped from her sleeping into the dreaming phase. This memory symbolizes complete freedom: the meadow has no limits for Edna, just as the ocean has no restrictions. Edna overcomes her fear and realizes that she cannot swim back to the shore, because she does not want to give up her freedom and independence.

This kind of talk was turning him on. He consented because he enjoys the challenge, but also because he wanted to be spanked. With his trademark cocky grin on his lips, Drew leaned over and planted a kiss on my forehead. Drew waited for me on the bed, his naked body arranged decadently on his side. His hair was tousled and his cock—this was my first clear view, and good Lord it was thick—lay along his thigh. The sculpted muscles of his physique left no doubt that he worked out daily.

I wanted to touch him everywhere with my lips and hands. He crooked a finger, inviting me closer. I climbed onto the bed and handed him the condoms. He chuckled and let them cascade from his hand onto the sheet. I looked at the pile. That kiss had rocked my world. I arranged myself next to him, our thighs and stomachs almost touching, and I kissed him.

Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" - Edna's Life as a Development in Three Stage

No tentative foray, no teasing—I dove right in. He rolled toward me, pushing me to my back, and settled his weight on top of me. Our hands roamed, seeking and exploring, sometimes moving quickly, and other times slowing down to savor a texture or reaction. After a while, Drew sat up, kneeling between my legs. Wordlessly, I handed him a condom. From the foot of the bed, Mistress handed him a bottle of lubricant. She laid down on the bed, propped on her elbows, so that her face was near mine.

Between my legs, Drew rolled on the condom and squeezed a dollop of lube into his hand. I wanted to see him when he took me. She kissed me, a brief bout of passion, and then she moved her lips down my neck and over my chest. Then she skipped the good part and got to her knees. Drew captured her lips for a heated moment, and then she sat back out of the way. He hiked my legs up to expose my anus. His fingers were gentle as he smeared the gel over and into that muscle. Mistress handed him a towelette, and he wiped away the excess.

Then he positioned his cock at my entrance. The pressure almost sent me through the roof. My dick throbbed painfully. I needed to come so badly. The moment he breached my opening, tingles shot up my spine. I exhaled a hard moan. Drew set a moderate pace, fast enough to keep me on the edge without pushing either of us over too quickly.

Mistress sprawled along my right side, her dark, damp hair spilling onto my shoulder. Desire darkened her irises to nearly black. When having sex with two amazing people, it was difficult to not have ADD. Everywhere I looked was hot and tempting. From Mistress lying next to me, stroking herself, to Drew, hovering above me as he thrust harder and faster.

My gaze met his, and he ensnared me. His body shook as he thrust one more time and shouted, spilling his seed into the condom.

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He withdrew and collapsed, rolling to my left side. Her mouth was around my cock before I finished speaking. I had been about to assure her that I could hold out for longer, but the sight of her lovely lips wrapped around my dick did me in. Lifting my hips, I thrust into her mouth and came. She moaned, swallowed, and sucked harder, draining me of every drop. The edges of my vision went fuzzy. He glanced up, lifting a brow at her unusually colorful language. She stomped her foot, hating the gesture even though it made her feel a little better.

And this morning. He rose to his feet, his lanky legs unfolding as he stood up, and wiped his hands on his jeans. Last night you were strung so tight I thought you were going to snap. No tension stiffened the lines and planes of his body. His olive gaze showed patience and a little bafflement. She shook her head in disbelief.

He shrugged. I love you, honey. If we go, we go because we both want to be there. Oh, but she wanted to be there. She just wanted to not have stretch marks or sagging breasts first. Startled, she stared up at him. Sometimes that skill brought endless thrills. She folded her arms over her chest. His dark blond brows shot nearly to his hairline. Though she was easily one of the most attractive women on the planet, Jonas knew better than to argue with her. She required proof, not words. So he narrowed his eyes, took a step closer, and went with a different strategy.

There was no need. Her eyes widened. Shades of brown swirled as she realized her mistake. She dropped her arms down by her sides and cast her gaze to her feet. Threading his fingers, grease and all, through the hair at the nape of her neck, he yanked hard to bring her gaze back to his. Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes, but they were the right kind. Her shoulders relaxed, and she gave herself over to his control.

I will kill any man who touches you, Sabrina. Make no mistake, my opinion is the only one that matters, and I find you very attractive. I have stretch marks all over the place. He leaned down, not stopping until his face was inches away. My submissive. The mother of my children. You will wear them proudly as the badges they are. Maybe they would if he held a black light next to her skin, but he had no intention of doing so.

From his frequent and close inspections, he knew she had a few on her inner thighs, her ass, and across her stomach, and maybe one or two on her breasts and hips. They were parts of her, and he loved all of her. And he knew better than to tell her about the ones on her ass. She trembled so hard he felt the shockwaves radiating across the small space between them. He knew she wanted him to treat her roughly, to make her forget about everything that was bothering her, but he refused to do that until everything was right between them. The thing about being married to a smart woman was that she changed tactics mid-discussion.

He resisted the urge to turn her over his knee. He knew she wanted to go. The brief gleam of excitement in her eyes told a different story from her mouth. If this was the only thing holding her back, then nothing was holding them back. We leave in one week. He set his finger over her lips. Sabrina peeked out the window of her breakfast nook. In the distance, past the deck, the trellis bursting with tangerine and white roses, and a large expanse of lawn, the sun glinted on the water, beckoning her closer.

She opted for a bikini—the hot-as-hell pool boy was due sometime today—grabbed a towel, and rushed to the pool. As she got closer, she noticed the man with a long pole stuck into the water, and she slowed her pace. Too late. Now she would have to wait for the pool boy to finish cleaning it before she could swim. With a sigh, she heaved herself onto a lounger and sent a baleful look in his direction.

She had plans to pull herself, dripping wet, out of the water, throwing her hair back so that the sun caught some of the highlights. There was so little variety in her life. She spent most of the day looking after her one- and three-year-olds, and the chance to put herself on display to torment the pool boy was one opportunity she hated missing. After all, a girl had to have fun, right? Her husband worked long hours and traveled all the time, so she had to get her kicks however she could. She spent some time admiring the way his lithe, lean muscles bunched and strained as he methodically worked his way toward the far end of the pool.

The tan darkening his skin testified to many hours spent under the punishing rays of the sun. Her gaze traveled lower, taking in the way his shorts hung low on his hips. Too low. The hipbones jutting forward were tanned as well. It made her wonder if his gorgeous ass enjoyed the same freedom. My husband will not look kindly upon you if he sees you walking around here almost naked.

Nothing in the set of his shoulders or the tilt of his mouth gave her a hint as to his reaction, but she knew he had one. After forever, he extracted the vacuum from the pool and set it on the concrete patio. Ever so slowly, he rounded the pool, not stopping until his shadow loomed over her. This close, she could see the danger glittering from his olive-green eyes. They were hazel normally, but they tended toward green under most circumstances. When he was feeling amorous, they often turned topaz. Spencer, your husband is half a world away. And you know as well as I do that you like when I wear these shorts.

After all, you bought them for me. He caught the end of the string tied behind her neck to hold up her bikini top, and he tugged. She felt the small pop that indicated it was no longer tied. She knew she should put her hands over the fabric to shield herself before he peeled the scrap of material away, but she was paralyzed by the hard expression on his face.

The planes and angles that made up his face were what some might call handsome. She might think it, but she knew better than to say it to his face.

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And his lips were positively sensual. Oh lord, she was moist. It only took one look from him to make her knees weak, and he was using it on her now. Reaching back, he grasped her by the long rope and pulled, urging her to stand up. He turned her around, so that her back was to his front, and he guided her back against him. Only then did it become apparent exactly how hard his muscles were. Before she could think to struggle, he banded one iron arm around her midsection. Because she was half a foot shorter, her head fit neatly under his chin.

He rested it on her now, another tool to keep her close. He chuckled, a low, sinister laugh. Your fate is sealed. With that, he peeled away the fabric clinging to her breasts and squeezed one hard, his callused palm scraping her sensitive skin. She whimpered with the effort it cost to not beg for more. He ground his pelvis into her ass, and she realized he was hard and ready. That could only mean one thing. Gentle hands trailed along her hips. Heat seared her back as those hands traveled upward and moved her braid out of the way.

When a second set of lips seared her neck, she realized Evan was behind her, kissing her neck while Daniel claimed her lips. With a startled gasp, she jerked away from both of them. Anger made her body and her voice shake. She pointed an accusatory finger at both men. Daniel held his hands up in a supplicating gesture that managed to also be condescending. You lied to me! You used me, and you lied to me.

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Evan took one step forward, but he checked himself when she took another step backward. The popping sounds from the boiling concoction slowed and stopped. Daniel ignored them both. Her wildest dreams were coming true, but she was too angry to take solace in that fact. You go on and on about hating women who play head games, yet this is exactly the kind of thing you bitch about. He took a step toward her, but she backed around the island counter.

He stopped, letting her have something between them. We both want a relationship with you, and I think you want a relationship with both of us, too. Damn it, Daniel! You both used me for a one-night stand, and then you both came back for another night. Curiously, Evan seemed completely unaffected by their angry outbursts.

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The novel deals with the emotional, mental and sexual awakening of Edna Pontellier, the wife of a Creole businessman, and mother of two sons. In the course of the story she breaks through social conventions, questions the role of women in society and neglects restrictions and limitations laid upon her as a woman. Edna's struggle for individualism and selfhood results in her suicide, as there is 'little possibility for self-determination for women in a society where legal and economic practice and social custom prohibit female autonomy' Martin, Whereas the suffrage-movement, spawned by the Civil War, was growing in some parts of the U.

So far as this movement may have any tendency to take woman out of her true place in the home, to give her man's work to do and to develop masculine qualities in her, it finds no sympathy in the South. The Southern woman loves the retirement of home, and shrinks from everything that would bring her into the public gaze. Tillet, 16 Edna is quite the opposite of a woman who finds true fulfillment in the role of a loving wife and mother. Her liberation from social conventions, suppression and restrictions in the setting of conservative Southern Catholic society makes her suicide inevitable as there is no other way to break out of the social boundaries that were present in almost every domain of life.

Edna's suicide can be seen as her ultimate awakening because she refuses to return to the life of restrictions. She rather sacrifices her own life than her individuality and freedom, because 'nothing less than a transformation of social reality would enable [Edna] to go on living' Gilmore, Through suicide she expresses her disapproval of her role as a woman and mother, as a possession of her husband and her children.

This is reflected by her thoughts shortly before she drowns herself:. They were a part of her life. But they need not have thought they could possess her, body and soul. Awakening , Edna's awakening, i. It is not a surprising awakening, as the story gradually describes her development in three stages, respectively a sleeping phase, a phase of dreaming, and the final phase of awakening that goes hand in hand with the realization that Edna's attempt to be truly free within the present social conventions is futile.

Edna's phase of sleeping in the story is a relatively short one. It is nevertheless of importance, for, if there is no sleeping, there can be neither dreaming nor awakening. The state of sleeping, of course, is not meant literally. It is a metaphor for a condition of repression. Edna, in her phase of sleeping, quietly accepts her position in society. She does not question her role as a mother and wife. The first lines of the novel describe a parrot in a cage, and this parrot is a symbol for Edna herself. In her sleeping phase, she is a bird in a cage, merely there to be looked at and not taken seriously.

Edna, on the surface, seems to be devoted to her husband and cares for him. She asks him to 'take the umbrella' Awakening , 45 , and wonders if he is 'coming back to dinner' Awakening , 45 , thus expressing an interest in his well-being and in his presence. In her sleeping phase Edna does not openly show her disapproval of her position as a woman within society, even though the reader gets hints that she 'is not comfortable with the traditional role of wife and mother but has difficulty imagining alternatives' Martin, Edna then 'could not have told why she was crying' because 'such experiences as the foregoing were not uncommon in her married life' Awakening , Edna feels her own dissatisfaction with life, but in her sleeping phase she does not understand why.

She does not yet question social conventions and believes that she, as a woman, might not have the right to disapprove of them. As stated earlier, Edna's phase of sleeping is not of long duration, but there are characters and symbols within the novel that reflect this phase throughout the story. His reaction to Edna's absence on a Tuesday, her official reception day, expresses his obedience to social conventions very well:. Why, my dear, I should think you'd understand by this time that people don't do such things; we've got to observe les convenances if we ever expect to get on and keep up with the procession.

If you felt that you had to leave home this afternoon, you should have left some suitable explanation for your absence. Belthrop wanted to visit Edna, because they 'can't afford to snub Mrs. Belthrop [because] Belthrop could buy and sell [them] ten times over' Awakening , In this sequence it becomes obvious that Edna is merely a representative, and 'her social duties [ ] are an important extension of his business world' Carey, The role of Mme. Ratignolle is typical of a woman of that time. She is devoted to her husband and children and lives for them solely.

There are few moments in the book, in which Mme. Ratignolle is not in some way, attached to her children or her husband. While Mr. Pontellier goes on business trips, Mr. She adores her husband and never questions her subordinate position. Here we can again draw a connection to the parrot.

Pontellier' " Showalter, Edna had attempted all summer to learn to swim. She had received instructions from both the men and women; in some instances from the children. Robert had pursued a system of lessons almost daily; and he was nearly at the point of discouragement in realizing the futility of his efforts. Here Edna is still passively receiving instructions.

The swimming is a symbol for freedom, and the floating expresses independence. Edna, in her sleeping phase, is neither free nor independent. Her inability to swim gives her no opportunity to escape this world of restrictions and social conventions. Edna's first step from her condition of sleep to a phase of dreaming can be seen in chapter seven, when she walks to the beach with Mme.

In her dreaming phase Edna realizes the freedom that can be achieved through swimming, using this metaphor to describe her childhood, before she was married and when she is still "free". In this sequence of the story the narrator stops addressing the protagonist as Mrs. Pontellier, but rather calls her "Edna", thus giving her subjectivity.

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In her dreaming phase, Edna tries to gain independence in various ways. In this phase of independence, through the absence of her husband, Edna gradually realizes her individuality and her power. When she sends her children to their grandmother, she can experience total freedom and independence. She steps out of her "expected role" of a mother, thus expressing her disapproval of the belief that women are supposed to sacrifice everything for their children.

Again, Edna's phase of dreaming is reflected by characters and symbols throughout the novel. The male character representing Edna's dreaming phase is Robert. Even though it is Robert who "awakens" sexual desires in Edna and thus is the reason for her change, he does not reflect the awakening phase. The reader soon realizes that, if Edna's relationship with Robert had been successful, she would again have been forced into the role of a "mother-woman", restricted by social conventions.

I suppose this is what you would call unwomanly; but I have got into a habit of expressing myself. It doesn't matter to me, and you may think me unwomanly if you like. Robert's views on women do not differ from that of most men at this time. He considers wives to be the possession of their husbands. This becomes obvious when he tells Edna, 'Oh!