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The Ever-Changing Edna Pontellier

             In the novel, The Awakening, Edna Pontellier goes through many changes. The three biggest changes that she goes through coincide with a different house; on Grand isle Edna is still acting how a wife in the 19th century is supposed to. In Madame Antoine's home on Cheniere Caminada Edna begins to awaken to her desires and needs. In the "pigeon house- Edna completely awakens and becomes and independent person. These three awakenings change her into the woman that she becomes by the end of the novel.
             On Grand Isle, Edna acts how a wife is expected to act. The first example of Edna behaving like this is when she and Robert come back from swimming. When Léonce notices that Edna is sunburned he looks at her "as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered come damage- (page 3) she doesn't speak up. Edna doesn't speak up either when she asks Léonce if he is coming to dinner and doesn't answer. Another example of Edna obeying her husband is when Léonce comes back late from the club and thinks that their son Raoul has a fever, and insists that Edna check on him. Edna does check on Raoul, even though "[she] was quite sure Raoul had no fever. He had gone to bed perfectly well, she said, and nothing had ailed him all day-. (Page 7) Another example is when Edna comes home from the swimming party and lies in the hammock. Edna resists Léonce's influence at first when he tells her to go to bed, but eventually gets too tired to stay outside and defy him any longer. Léonce still shows his power over Edna by replying to Edna asking him if he is coming in by saying "Yes, dear just as soon as I have finished my cigar.""(Page 42).
             Edna first starts to "awaken- in Madame Antoine's home on Cheniere Caminada. Edna begins to believe that she is in a new, romantic, foreign world, and that the old social expectations have disappeared and that Edna can forget about everyone else.

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