Essay about the awakening

Submitted By nash777
Words: 858
Pages: 4

In what ways does “The Awakening” exhibit characteristics of naturalism and how does it deviate from the theory?

The novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a novel about whether a married woman could or should engage in a sexual affair with a man who is not her husband, whether she would abandon her children and husband for another man who she has fallen in love with. This novel is an argument for a woman’s independence and self-awareness. Naturalism is one of the main topics in this novel due to the fact that it embodies some of the actions of Edna in the novel. Naturalism emphasizes nature and society rather than the individual. According to naturalistic beliefs, humans are little more than animals. Which technically states that humans are little more than animals. Naturalism was a literary movement taking place throughout the novel. The novel was written using realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity and environment had certain force in shaping human character. As for Edna’s environment demonstrates the beliefs in naturalism. Edna’s environment demonstrates these beliefs because her environment/society has a set point on what a woman should be, which is married and a mother and she should act. As for Edna she believes in having independence and freedom. Her marriage wasn’t an option nor was her having children because its something she has to do due to how society worked in this time period. Edna’s environment has allowed her to grow as a dynamic character and person. Letting her nature lead to choices and decisions she wouldn’t have thought of before her awakening. Her environment controls her because her society plays a huge part in her environment but it also opens her eyes to what is out in the worlds and what she actually wants. Edna’s piers are also apart of her environment, her husband, friends, family and children. Edna’s environment deviates from some naturalistic beliefs because her choices, decisions and thoughts are different than the ideal Victorian female. Madame Ratignolle, is an example of the ideal woman in this time period, a married mother who idolizes her children and worships her husband unlike Edna who is willing to let go of her husband and children for freedom and independence to the outside world. Determinism is one of the primary characteristics of naturalism seen throughout the novel. Determinism is usually understood to exclude free will because the theory holds that society determines your life. With that being said, The Awakening embodies naturalism in the state of determinism due to the fact that Edna chooses to make her own choices such as her first attempt to swim in the sea. She also grew into her freedom/independence when she went to the pigeon house. She abandoned her husband and children to live her “own” life and be in control of her life rather than feeling as if her life is being controlled by someone else. Naturalism suggests that many of our decision and actions are greatly influenced by our surrounding environment. Edna being a dynamic character responds to her natural surroundings and changes due to her wanting freedom and independence. As…