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When Edna swam out into the ocean at the end of The Awakening, I think it was because she realized her situation. She was madly in love with Robert and she was married. Her husband, Leonce, was much too proper and business-like to please her childish spirit. However, in the end, she understood she could not be with Robert. When she asked Robert to stay while she left, I think that Robert left because she was married. In Robert’s short letter to her, he said, “I love you. Good-bye because I love you.” I think he said this to let her understand that he was not leaving Edna, but he was leaving Mrs. Pontellier. She felt lost when she finally understood. Robert was the only person she loved, and she could not be with him. She could not try to restore her marriage after making love to Mr. Arobin. She was desperately trapped and knew it. Her only way out was to regain the freedom of her days as a child in the meadows of Kentucky. The ocean reminded her of that freedom, so I think that freedom chose her death. She wanted to swim away to freedom from the Creole society.


Categories: Marriage


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