I finished The Awakening! YAY! I really enjoyed reading this story, and it went by very fast for me. I really became connected with some of the characters, and enjoyed seeing them evolve. What stuck with me the most in The Awakening was the ending of the story.
Robert Lebrun, the young man that Edna fell in love with, ended up acting on his feelings for Edna. One night they shared a kiss, along with some other very romantic moments. However, when Edna leaves the house to check on Adele, who is very sick, she comes to find he has left. He leaves a note saying “I love you. Good-by, because I love you. Edna freaks out when she reads this, not knowing how to act or what to do with herself. The next day she goes to the Lebrun household, and decides to go for a swim. She gets completely naked, and goes out into the water. She then lets the sea take control of her, as she swims further and further away from the shore. She finally just lets the sea envelop her, and ultimately commits suicide.
I was somewhat confused as to why Edna decided to take her own life. Was it because of Robert’s note, and the fact that she would have to return to her husband and children? Or was it because she was trying to make a statement? I’m not really sure yet, but either way these events and the ending in general was very powerful, and left a big impact on me.
I am very happy with my decision to read The Awakening for this project. It was a book that shows a struggle of a young woman, as she is conflicted with her duties and her passions. It was one of the first stories in history to discuss women and their desires in a not necessarily negative way. I think Kate Chopin is a wonderful author, and writes beautifully. Maybe one day I will read a different novel by Chopin, but I doubt it will be as eerie, exciting, interesting, and great as The Awakening.