The main conflict in The Awakening is resolved at the end of the book. Ednaâ€™s conflict was that she wanted to become an independent woman and escape from her husband and children. This conflict is person vs. self and Edna vs. society. This is person vs. self because she does not know whether or not she wants to tell her husband this. This conflict is Edna vs. society because if she does have an affair than society will look at her badly from then on. The way Ednaâ€™s conflict is resolved is Edna was still unhappy after she became independent so she committed suicide. The theme in the book is â€œa goal of achieving ones freedomâ€. This conflict is evident in the novelâ€™s theme because Ednaâ€™s independence is her freedom in life.
An example of the conflict relating to theme is the symbolism of the â€œcaged birdâ€. Mr. Pontellier is sitting on the front porch of the cottage â€œa green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door kept repeating over and over:.
â€œAllez vous-en! Allex vous en! Sapristi!â€ (pg 1).
Edna is the â€œcaged birdâ€ whom would like to be free. Edna wants to be free from the Creole society. The Creole society is holding her back from her freedom. .
Another way conflict related to theme is when Edna always looks at the water. She always looks at the water when she is thinking about her independence in life. She was near the sea â€œBut when she way there beside the sea, absolutely alone, she cast the unpleasant, prickling garments from her, and for the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited herâ€.(pg 124) In literature water represents a new life and society. (www.sparknotes.com) She went to the water to escape her troubles. It soothed her and made her forget about things that bothered her. The water is evident in the theme because she used the water to help her solve her conflict.