In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, can you give me  examples of different incidents that describes Edna's awakenings?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One such incident occurs when Edna hears Mademoiselle Reisz play the piano. The notes send "a keen tremor" down her spine. "Perhaps it was the first time she was ready" to hear Mlle. Reisz play, "perhaps the first time her being was tempered to take an impress of the abiding truth." This isn't the first time Edna has heard Mlle. Reisz, but this is the first time she has such an extreme and emotional response to the music. The narrator says that "the very passions themselves were aroused within her soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves daily beat upon her splendid body." Edna cries profusely, so affected by the music is she, and its dramatic effect upon her provides some evidence that she has indeed begun to awaken.

On this same evening, after Edna swims and returns to her cabin, she and Robert sit together for a long while. Neither speaks. "No multitude of words could have been more significant than those moments of silence, or more pregnant with the first-felt throbbings of desire." When Leonce returns, Robert leaves, and Edna refuses to go inside, and she realizes that "Another time she would have gone in at [Leonce's] request. She would, through habit, have yielded to his desire . . . " However, tonight, she does refuse him, angering and confusing him. "She perceived that her will had blazed up, stubborn and resistant. She could not at that moment have done other than denied and resisted." This marks yet another stage in her awakening. Although she might not quite be able to verbalize what she is feeling or why, changes are surely happening within her.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first and most over-arching example of Edna's awakening comes from her learning to swim.  At the start of the novel she is just learning to swim and is fearful whenever she is in water and out of arms reach of safety.  She is metaphorically tied to the land and the Creole society -- a place where she knows what to expect.  After several chapters she learns to swim without assistance, and her sense of freedom and independence grows.  She realizes that if she can do this for herself, she may be able to do other things.  This simple act of swimming is not so simple.  After this realization she is more bold in her awakenings in other parts of her life.  For example, she is refuses to come to bed just because Leonce wants her to; she spends more time with Robert and away from the family; she eventually refuses the social obligations of her "Tuesday's at home"; and she ultimately moves out of the family home and into a smaller home around the block.  She is independent, to a certain extent, from Leonce and her social and familial obligations.

This act of learning to swim comes full circle then at the end of the novel when she chooses to swim far out, so far out that she can't come back, and she drowns herself.  Her awakening to the idea that she cannot have the life she wants drives her to this decision and she takes control of her situation with this most drastic measure.