The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a fiction book that tells the life story of Edna Pontellier, a southern wife and mother. This book presents many questions and very answers. In 1899 this book was banished from its publication because at this time in history, women did just what they were expected to do. They were expected to be good daughters, wives, and mothers. A woman was expected to move from the protection of her father to the protection of her husband. Edna didn't do it like that, this made her seem senile and lead her husband to send for a doctor. This situation caused Edna Pontellier to says the words that define the title, "I don't want anything but my own way. That is wanting a good deal, of course, when you have to trample upon the lives, the hearts, the prejudices of others - but no matter_" This was an awakening to her husband and society around her.
When the book begins, Edna is a married woman who seems satisfied with her life. However, she cannot find happiness. Her "awakening" begins when a young man named Robert begins loving her. Edna begins to respond to him in a way she hasn't done before. She begins to realize that she can be more than a wife and mother. All throughout the book Edna starts to become more independent. She sends her children away, she refuses to stay at home, and loves to start conflict with her husband. The bad thing about it is, her independence becomes her downfall. Edna stays married because divorce was unreal in those days. She wanted to marry Robert, but she will not because it will cause her to leave her husband. No matter how independent Edna wants to be, she is held down by others, despite what she wants. .
In the today's world divorce is almost common, but in her time she would have been an outcast. By the end of The Awakening, Edna feels like she is not a person, she feels like a slave for her husband, her children, and society. The only way out that she can think of is to end her life, which she does by swimming out into the sea until her strength gives out.