The Awakening by Kate Chopin was probably my favorite stories. The story was slow in the beginning but it began to pick up the pace when the reader started seeing the connection between Edna and Robert. I could not imagine being a woman in that time and reading The Awakening and being shocked by that a woman is falling in love with another man but she is married and has kids. It just was not common back then because marriage back then was for the social reasons. If a man and woman were not in love then it was too bad for them and they should have to suck it up or society would look down upon them. Girls could not just leave their husbands, if they did people would talk about them and being part of a social circle was a pretty big deal back then.
I guess the part that shocked me the most in the book was after Robert and Edna confessed their love for each other and Edna finds him gone when she comes back. I was hoping when she came back that they would just have this big, sappy moment together. But she finds a note instead, “I love you. Goodbye-because I love you.” (p. 776) It shocked me because I thought Robert really wanted to be with her but then I realized while they were confessing their love for each other, Edna pretty much said that she would not marry Robert. “I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, ‘Here, Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours.’ I should laugh at you both.” (p.772) Edna admits here that even if Robert is the love of her life, she will never marry him because she does not want to be tied down. It just shows that Robert decided to leave because he knew that he could never have Edna. Edna wanted to be a free spirit. She loved Robert with all her heart buts he just didn’t want that kind of commitment. Robert was also had a good spot in the social world and he did not want to ruin that because of Edna and he knew that she was still married and he had respect for that.
I do not think Edna really knew the reason why Robert left or understood it at all. I think she was just heartbroken and she couldn’t understand what she said wrong. I do not think sherealized that she actually did tell Robert that she would never be his.