The Awakening Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

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In what ways did Robert influence Edna's awakening? I would like to know the ways that affected her awakening the most.

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Robert influences Edna's awakening in that, with him, she learns what it feels like to desire another and to be desired. With her husband, she is conscious that she often

through habit, [...] yielded to his desire [...] unthinkingly, as we walk, move, sit, stand, go through the daily treadmill of the life which has been portioned out to us.

Edna seems to feel no real desire for her own husband and has only "yielded" to his out of a sense of obligation and routine: this is, of course, hardly romantic. With Robert, however, Edna experiences a sexual awakening, learning to think about her own desires and self as a sexual being. One night, the narrator says,

No multitude of words could have been more significant than those moments of silence, or more pregnant with the first-felt throbbings of desire.

With Robert, Edna finally feels what it is like to want to be sexually intimate with someone, a step she might take in order to gratify her own desire for sexual pleasure herself rather than merely to...

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