Edna Pontellier could not have told why, wishing to go to the beach with Robert, she should in the first place have declined, and in the second place have followed in obedience to one of the two contradictory impulses which impelled her. A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her—the light which, showing the way, forbids it. At that early period it served but to bewilder her. It moved her to dreams, to thoughtfulness, to the shadowy anguish which had overcome her the midnight when she had abandoned herself to tears. In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her.This may seem like a ponderous weight of wisdom to descend upon the soul of a young woman of twenty-eight-- perhaps more wisdom than the Holy Ghost is usually pleased to vouchsafe to any woman. But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning!How many souls perish in its tumult! The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace. 1. The “it” in line 9 refers to: a) “ the two contradictory impluses”  b)“a certain light...beginning to dawn” c) “the way” d) ”the shadowy anguish” 2. In line 23,”vouchsafe” can be best replaced by: a) bestow b) inform c) refuse d) deign 3. The final paragraph of the passage(lines 34-36) foreshadow a) Edna’s affair with Arobin b) Robert’s shipwreck on his way to Mexico c) the sucide at the end of the novel d) doctor Mandalet’s disapperance 4. Which of the following lines best describes Edna’s journey from this point to the end of the novel? a) “the voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” b)”this may seem like a ponderous weight of wisdom” c)”it moved her to dreams, to thoughtfullness, to shadowy anguish...” d)”of a world especially,is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic and exceedingly disturbing.” 5. Line 30 contains an example of which literacy device? a) polysyndeton b)asyndeton c)anthropomorphism D) metonymy 6.the final two paragraphs depict a sea that is: a) anthropomorphised b) didactic c) personified d) dynamic 7.which of the following best describes edna’s characterization in the passage: 1. She is firm in her resolve to do as she pleases. 2. She is confused and lost regarding who she is and what she wants. 3. She is young and a bit naive. a) 2 only b) 1 and 3  c) 2 and 3 d) 1,2, and 3 8. The shift in perspective in the sentence beginning on line 26 and ending on line 27 does all of the following except a) give the reader a direct connection to the emotions Edna is feeling. b) imply that the situation is not uncommon c) give the narrator the opportunity to insert her commentary and experiences d) describe a situation for Edna to be a part of something greater than she. 9. The ”anguish in line 12,most likely refers to a) Edna’s distress over the creole culture and her lack of understanding with it. b)the heartbreak Edna felt when she listened to Madame Ratignolle reveal the intimate details of her delivery, knowing she would never be a “mother-women” c) the torment of knowing that is on the beach with Robert and the moment,though beautiful to her, would have repercussions. d) the sadness Edna felt when she realized, after being scolded by Leonce and checking on Raoul, that she is trapped. 10. The tone of the passage the best be described as a) sardonic b)reverent c) didactic d)solemn What is a literacy foil? Which characters serve as foils in The Awakening and how does their relationship illuminate the text? Protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess “that outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions.” Identify a character who outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Analyze how this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning contributes to the meaning of the work. Avoid mere plot summary.

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You ask what a literary foil is, which characters serve as foils in the text, and what their relationships with Edna might illuminate.  To begin, a foil is a character who possesses traits that contrast the traits of another character, often the protagonist , in order to illuminate the qualities...

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You ask what a literary foil is, which characters serve as foils in the text, and what their relationships with Edna might illuminate.  To begin, a foil is a character who possesses traits that contrast the traits of another character, often the protagonist, in order to illuminate the qualities possessed by that other character.  We might consider both Adele Ratignolle as well as Mademoiselle Reisz foils to Edna, each accomplishing something different. 

The contrast with Adele shows us how short Edna falls when it comes to doing her duty to her husband, Leonce, and behaving in accordance with her Creole community's mores.  Adele is quite feminine, a "sensuous Madonna," and a "mother-woman," who spends her time ministering to her children and performing her wifely duties as though they were a divine calling.  She keeps up her music to beautify her home and to bring joy to her husband.  She would do nothing that might embarrass him or subject him to ridicule by his peers.  

Mademoiselle Reisz, on the other hand, shows us how very far short Edna falls when it comes to becoming an artist and giving up the need to be accepted by society.  Reisz is invited to parties in order to be the entertainment, not because she is accepted as an equal.  However, Edna is unwilling to give up ties to society completely, and she still craves acceptance and praise, especially from Adele.  Reisz says Edna must have strong wings to soar above the plain of tradition, but Edna is not strong enough to do so alone.  

Both of these characters illuminate Edna's inability to choose a role.  Initially, she chooses to be a Creole wife and mother, but she finds that unfulfilling.  Then, she wishes to be an artist. She dabbles without any real, serious talent, but she finds that unfulfilling as well.  She must be willing to give something up in order to have each one, but neither option is, in the end, sufficient to satisfy her.  

To address your next open-ended question, the tension between Edna's outward conformity and inward questioning illuminates the theme that the individual is almost always at odds with society in some way.  Further, the tension conveys the idea that the price of total freedom from society's rules is alienation from that society.  Edna cannot break the rules of society and still be accepted by that society.  No person can.

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