The Awakening

Awakening via the Omniscient Narrator

Awakening via the Omniscient Narrator

In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Edna Pontellier transforms from a wealthy product of mid 19th century Creole society into an independent, beautiful soul that acknowledges none of the boundaries of societal code. Her beauty, like the plot, only meets its full potential at the end of the narrative when Edna takes her own life. As the story progresses, she experiences increasingly intensified epiphanies that communicate to her, and the audience, that her soul's full potential is bounded by her life's position in the Creole society of New Orleans. Throughout the story, symbols of Edna's awakening are revealed via her own admissions, the comments of other characters, and most evidently, through the omniscient narrator. In fact, it is through the omniscient narrator that we learn the most about Edna's true spirit, her fluctuating social stature, and her innermost desires to rid the world (or at least her world) of societal code.

"Every step she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual" (Beaty, 102). In no other part of the book does Chopin approach the reader so abruptly with this principle of Mrs....

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 603 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 3365 literature essays, 1016 sample college application essays, 59 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in