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A Loving Downfall Essay

1034 words - 5 pages

For a long time Edna has been asleep and stuck in a loveless marriage in the Creole society. Her realization that love is more than what she has in her relationship with Leonce is the reason for her awakening and also the reason for her eventual suicide.
Robert becomes a symbol for Edna that represents true love and being with him made her realize that she is not in love with Leonce. Edna starts to have a connection with Robert that shows her how bad her life is currently with Leonce. While Leonce is at work, Edna and Robert have a lot of time to build a relationship. For example, on page 35 they jokingly talk about finding pirates’ gold and how they would share and spend it together. Along with casual flirting, Robert is there for Edna during monumental steps in her life, for example, when she decides to go out and swim in the ocean. Edna had taken lessons but was always too afraid to swim with the others. Robert has many opportunities to become a big part of Edna’s life and have a bigger influence than her husband ever did. One page 81, Edna is asked “are you in love with Robert?” and she responds that she is. Her answer shows that Robert is becoming that symbol of love apart from her husband. After a lot of flirting with Robert, on page 50 Edna deliberately disobeys the rules of Leonce and the Creole society when she decides to go out instead of waiting for her callers. At this point Edna has gotten a lot closer to Robert and she is showing signs that she no longer likes being in the Creole society. Her relationship with Robert is helping her realize that she doesn’t have to be stuck in the Creole lifestyle, she can attempt to have a better life.
Love is the reason Edna wakes up in the novel. Robert is her symbol for love and he is associated closely with her process of waking up. At the beginning of the novel when Edna didn’t really know what love was she was asleep and trapped in the Creole culture. For example, the novel states that she assumes the role of being a mother “blindly” and “fate had not fitted her for this role” (18). She wasn’t aware of herself as a person to be able to make the right decision for how to live her own life and she decided to follow along with the norm of society. Throughout the novel she falls in love with Robert and as she realizes love is greater than what she has with Leonce, she wakes up. Just after one of the first times in the novel that Edna talks to Robert, she is “beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being” (13). This is one of the first times that Edna identifies herself as an individual instead of just another Creole wife. Another big event that led to Edna’s awakening was when she decided to swim in the ocean while...

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