In The Awakening, what are four examples of the conflict between Edna's nature and her environment?

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jennifer-taubenheim eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Awakening, Edna experiences ongoing conflict because her personality and wishes do not fit into what is considered to be appropriate for a woman living in that Victorian society. There is conflict when she leaves her husband and children to live in her own apartment and begin an intimate relationship with Robert, her friend with whom she has fallen in love. She experienced condemnation by most everyone in her life. She was happy with Robert, but became depressed by the condemnation she experienced as a result of her choice. She realized that she would always be at odds with society if she chose to live the way that she wanted to. She was seen as a bad wife because she was not faithful. She was also seen as a bad mother because she left the children with their father when it was the woman’s main responsibility in that society to see to the wellbeing of their children. Her main focus, rather than her children, became her art. Therefore, there is not only the conflict with society, but also the conflict within herself as she tries to decide which will be a stronger force in her life, her wishes or the will of society.

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The Awakening

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