Realistic Novel Study, Part 7

Read the excerpt from chapter 36 of The Awakening.

Edna had intended to be indifferent and as reserved as he when she met him; she had reached the determination by a laborious train of reasoning, incident to one of her despondent moods. But her resolve melted when she saw him before designing Providence had led him into her path.

Which of the following ideas is further developed by Edna’s inability to refuse Robert?

Edna is no longer in complete control of her situation.

Read the excerpt from chapter 37 of The Awakening.

Edna began to feel uneasy. She was seized with a vague dread. Her own like experiences seemed far away, unreal, and only half remembered. She recalled faintly an ecstasy of pain, the heavy odor of chloroform, a stupor which had deadened sensation, and an awakening to find a little new life to which she had given being, added to the great unnumbered multitude of souls that come and go.
Which idea is related to the reader through Edna’s revelation about her childbirth experiences?

Her experiences of motherhood are also fading from consciousness.

Which excerpt from The Awakening best expresses the idea that women of Chopin’s era were not always free to make their own decisions?
“Oh! I was demented, dreaming of wild, impossible things, recalling men who had set their wives free, we have heard of such things.”

Read the excerpt from chapter 38 of The Awakening.

She could picture at that moment no greater bliss on earth than possession of the beloved one. His expression of love had already given him to her in part. When she thought that he was there at hand, waiting for her, she grew numb with the intoxication of expectancy.

Which theme is explored in the excerpt?

Love and ownership can feel the same.

Which excerpt from The Awakening best illustrates the idea that self-determination can lead to isolation?
There was no human being whom she wanted near her except Robert; and she even realized that the day would come when he, too, and the thought of him would melt out of her existence, leaving her alone.

Read the excerpt from chapter 38 of The Awakening.

Robert was not waiting for her in the little parlor. He was nowhere at hand. The house was empty. But he had scrawled on a piece of paper that lay in the lamplight:
“I love you. Good-by—because I love you.”
What significant idea, presented throughout the novel, does Robert’s final departure and note highlight?

Edna is ultimately alone in her rebirth.

Read the excerpt from chapter 38 of The Awakening.

“The trouble is,” sighed the Doctor, grasping her meaning intuitively, “that youth is given up to illusions. It seems to be a provision of Nature; a decoy to secure mothers for the race. And Nature takes no account of moral consequences, of arbitrary conditions which we create, and which we feel obliged to maintain at any cost.”
What larger idea is the doctor referring to when he says that nature takes no account of moral consequences?

Impulses often overrule a person’s sense of good and bad.

Read the excerpt from chapter 36 of The Awakening.

I suppose this is what you would call unwomanly; but I have got into a habit of expressing myself. It doesn’t matter to me, and you may think me unwomanly if you like.

Which idea is Edna expressing?

Women are not meant to speak openly and honestly about their thoughts and feelings.

Read the excerpt from chapter 35 of The Awakening.

A letter also came from her husband, saying he hoped to be back early in March, and then they would get ready for that journey abroad which he had promised her so long, which he felt now fully able to afford; he felt able to travel as people should, without any thought of small economies—thanks to his recent speculations in Wall Street.
What theme is expressed in the letter from Edna’s husband?

Happiness can be gained from financial fortune.

Read the excerpt from chapter 39 of The Awakening.

The children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her; who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul’s slavery for the rest of her days. But she knew a way to elude them.

Which of Edna’s ideas about motherhood does the excerpt convey?

that motherhood is a burden

Which excerpt from The Awakening best highlights the elation Edna feels when she thinks of Robert?
The morning was full of sunlight and hope. Edna could see before her no denial—only the promise of excessive joy. She lay in bed awake, with bright eyes full of speculation. “He loves you, poor fool.”

Read the excerpt from chapter 39 of The Awakening.

How strange and awful it seemed to stand naked under the sky! how delicious! She felt like some new-born creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known.
Which best describes the thematic significance of the excerpt?

By discarding her clothes, she is rejecting Victorian convention; thus she is finally free.

Read the excerpt from chapter 38 of The Awakening.

“Perhaps—no, I am not going. I’m not going to be forced into doing things. I don’t want to go abroad. I want to be let alone. Nobody has any right—except children, perhaps—and even then, it seems to me—or it did seem—” She felt that her speech was voicing the incoherency of her thoughts, and stopped abruptly.
What does the excerpt suggest about Edna?

She is conflicted about her beliefs and her roles in life.

Which excerpt from The Awakening best illustrates the idea that self-determination can lead to isolation?
There was no human being whom she wanted near her except Robert; and she even realized that the day would come when he, too, and the thought of him would melt out of her existence, leaving her alone.