Not because of some typical fairy taleending where they all live happily ever after, but in that she accomplished hergoal in life. She never “sacrificed herself for her children. ” (p. 115) Edna Pontellier remained an individual. The music that was brought to herby Mademoiselle Reisz stirred up a deeper meaning in Edna’s life.
This is thepoint at which she feels her new being forming. In the end, not only did sherealized that her new life had no place in this world, but that she would behappier in the sea, where there were no restrictions placed on her and thepossibilities could be endless. She achieved her goal of being a free spiritthrough her death. Both Robert and Edna are in love with each other, and bothknow that with the societal constraints that a romance could never be possible. Still with the combination of Mademoiselle Reisz’s music and a newfound lovefor Robert, Edna starts the “Awakening. ” An amazing transformationtakes place in Edna throughout the course of a few months.
The people with whomshe interacts and the culture in which she is submersed play a significant rolein her “awakening. ” Edna is able to break away from the restrainingworld of Adele and Leonce in which she will never find her place. Stirred by themagic and intrigue of Mademoiselle Reisz’s world, she finds the strength toreach for that which is real for her, and she allows her true being to shine. ToMrs. Pontellier, “the children appeared before her like antagonists who hadovercome her; who had overpowered her into the soul’s slavery for the rest ofher days. ” This is the complete opposite of what she wanted herrelationship with her children to be.
She was willing to do anything for herchildren, except give her self up for them. Her individuality was preservedduring her life by her separations from her family. Edna bought the house aroundthe corner in order to go and be away from her children and paint. Towards theend of her life, Edna realizes that she is becoming consumed by her family. Theyare taking over her soul.
“But she knew a way to elude them. ” (p. 115)Her actions around her suicide greatly symbolize everything she hopes to achievein her life, and finally found in her death. As she walked down to the beach forthe last time she put on her bathing suit.
When she arrived at the shore,”she cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her. ” That symbolizedthe shedding of her “unpleasant” and “pricking” life. “For the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air. “(p. 115) She was on her way to being free.
“She felt like a new-borncreature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known. “(p. 115) Mrs. Pontellier had never known spiritual freedom.
This was her releasefrom a controlling world. As she swam towards eternity, Edna thought of a lot ofthings. She thought of her children and husband. She knew then that “theyneed not have thought that they could posses her, body and soul.
” Edna knewthat suicide was her only way of completely liberating her soul. Edna Pontellierunderwent a spiritual awakening. It was achieved through the endless physicalsleep of death. In the case of The Awakening, the title itself relates thecentral idea of the novel.
Edna’s spiritual awakening is significant becauseeverything else in the work is working towards that goal. Edna cannot haveanything she desires in this world, and therefore removed herself from it in afinal “awakening” of her soul.