What is a psychoanalytical perspective of Edna in The Awakening?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aspects of Edna's personality and behavior are also guided by the superego and ego.  Edna is aware of the social impositions that guide women's behavior, and she has lived according to custom for years.  Before she has the affair with Robert, Edna tried to live the role as mother and wife, and slowly, her id takes over and she begins to relinquish this role.  After Edna strays away from her husband, children, and home, she realizes that she can never truly get away from them, and she does feel guilty that she does not desire to be a mother and wife.  This is where her ego steps in and tries to make sense of her conflicting feelings.  It is the ego that drives Edna to commit suicide at the end of the novel because she thinks that she will not be able to reconcile her inner desires with social customs and expectations, and death is the only way that she will truly be free.