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Thread: Awakening Help

  1. #1
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    Aug 2007

    Awakening Help

    Hello, I am writing an essay that is about why Edna die at the end of the book? What function does this serve for the novel? My teachers favorite thing to ask us is "So What" and that is what I have to answer about this question. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User HotKarl's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Edna kills herself at the end of the novella because she realizes she can't be free in the sense she'd like to enjoy--she wants to live life completely independent of men. She isn't necessarily a man hater. The sexual relations Edna has with men proves that point. She just doesn't see why she must be tied to live comfortably. She eventually realizes that male-dominated society won't let her live independently. She must either marry or find an alternative, and the alternative she finds is death. You could even argue that death in itself is a sort of freedom for Edna.

    Additionally, how Edna dies, by taking her little "swim," is a fitting ending. In killing herself at the one place where she truly knew independence from men (there's a passage in the novella describing how she learns to swim by herself--you'll want to reference it), Edna shows her rejection of matrimony, the role of the mother-woman, the woman as a sexual object, etc. She wants to die in the place where she truly had agency, the place where no man controlled. Yes, Edna's death was an escape from patriarchy, but it was also a final grasp for the freedom she could never enjoy in a male-dominated society.

    Hope that gives you some ideas for the essay. It's been a long time since I read the book, so you're gonna have to fill in some gaps. Good luck.
    Last edited by HotKarl; 03-12-2008 at 03:08 AM.
    Witty quotation here! Witty quotation here!

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
    This was very helpful thank you. This will help fill in a gap that I am missing from my essay.

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