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Edna Pontellier – a respectable Presbyterian from Kentucky, living in Creole society in Louisiana. She rebels against society's expectations and discovers an identity independent from her role as a wife and mother.
Léonce Pontellier – Edna's husband, a successful businessman who is unaware of his wife’s unhappiness.
Mademoiselle Reisz - Her character symbolizes what Edna could have been if she had grown old and independent from her family. Despite viewing Reisz as disagreeable, Edna sees her as an inspiration to her own "awakening".
Madame Adèle Ratignolle – Edna's friend, who represents the perfect nineteenth-century woman, as she is totally devoted to her husband and children.
Alcée Arobin - known for seducing married women and pursues a short-lived affair with Edna, satisfying her whilst Robert is away.
Robert Lebrun – He has a history of charming women he cannot have but finds something different with Edna and falls in love with her. Robert's flirting with Edna catalyzes her "awakening," and she sees in him what has been missing in her marriage.
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