by Kate Chopin
The Awakening Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
The pigeon house pleased her. It at once assumed the intimate character of a home, while she herself invested it with a charm which it reflected like a warm glow. There was with her a feeling of having descended in the social scale, with a corresponding sense of having risen in the spiritual. Every step which she took toward relieving herself from obligations added to her strength and expansion as an individual. She began to look with her own eyes; to see and to apprehend the deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to "feed upon opinion" when her own soul had invited her. (32.7)
The more she casts off the obligations and responsibilities foisted upon her by society, the more Edna becomes an individual.
"Some way I don't feel moved to speak of things that trouble me. Don't think I am ungrateful or that I don't appreciate your sympathy. There are periods of despondency and suffering which take possession of me. But I don't want anything but my own way. That is wanting a good deal, of course, when you have to trample upon the lives, the hearts, the prejudices of others--but no matter-still, I shouldn't want to trample upon the little lives. Oh! I don't know what I'm saying, Doctor. Good night. Don't blame me for anything." (38.12)
Basically, Edna wants her personal happiness without being blamed for the consequences. She doesn’t want to hurt her children, but this quote seems to make it clear that she will hurt them if means securing her own happiness.
"One of these days," she said, "I'm going to pull myself together for a while and think--try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it." (27.4)
Edna understands that society would condemn her as a terrible woman, but she doesn’t view herself as a bad person. There’s an external/internal mismatch that Edna hopes to one day reconcile.