What are the main conflicts in The Awakening by Kate Chopin?

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Though there are a few important conflicts in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, I believe the most significant conflict is Edna Pontellier's rebellion against the misogynist structures and customs of society. From the beginning of the novel, we see Edna growing increasingly dissatisfied with not only her marriage to her husband, Leonce, but also with the societal structures that confine women to the roles of motherhood and marriage. Some of the ways Edna rebels against these strict customs include developing a career as an artist and moving out of her husband's home toward the end of the novel. By doing so, Edna signals her desire to explore roles other than motherhood and to live a life of independence on her own terms. While this rebellion ends on a remarkably depressing note (the novel ends with Edna's suicide), it's still an important statement refuting the established patriarchy, and Edna's conflict with her male-dominated society is ultimately one of the book's most powerful messages.


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