What are all the steps Edna takes in her awaking in the book the awakening

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Check right here on Enotes for lesson plans that include timelines in Edna Pontellier's life, which will help you see the points in chronological order.

Meanwhile, in Kate Chopin's The Awakening we witness a series of events that make up the transformation in Edna's character. However, her characteristics come as a result of her upbringing. Edna is a product of her social status and her generation. She is meant to be a wife, mother, and supporter. That is all.

However, the first indication that we get from her awakening is when she meets Robert LeBrun, who shows her the attention and the care that her own husband never does. This is the first time that Edna realizes that she has a passionate nature that can only be awoken when someone appreciates it. She even goes back in time to remember her earlier girly crushes, all of which were philosophical or artistic. She realizes right there and then that the type of love that she feels for others is seldom reciprocated.

The second indication is that Edna is bold enough to go about with Robert without caring what everyone else would think. After he leaves, he real desolation begins. She enters her true state of awakening after Robert leaves without telling her.

Later, Edna allows her husband to take off with her children while she remains alone, and later on moves into the "pigeon hole". This is a direct insubordination, so to speak, to the proper rules of behavior of women of her class. She basically abandons her family and her obligations. She demonstrates that she does not care anymore.

After moving into the "pigeon hole" and carrying on, she is too late to realize that she has lost her chance to change her life. Her "awakening" to her own sexuality, and her sense of self, has come too late.

The last note she receives from Robert, where he tells her that he leaves her for good "because he loves her" seals the deal. She has awoken to a life that she does not want to accept. What now? She finally realizes her passion for life, her ease for love, her need for a different life. Yet, nobody will be there for her to share her discovery. Therefore, she does her last act: She gives herself in to the ocean in a suicidal act that is far from morbid. She simply admits that she has lived life erroneously. Hence, she must be reborn again.

Concisely, Edna goes from being a dutiful and tolerant wife spending her vacation with her family, to falling in love and going about with Robert. She sheds all family duties in favor of finding herself only to realize that she is alone in her findings. In the end, she realizes that she has lived a life of expectations, and not hopes nor dreams. After realizing this, she simply gives herself in and ends her life. It is not a life she can live by any longer.