by Kate Chopin
The Awakening Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
But that night she was like the little tottering, stumbling, clutching child, who of a sudden realizes its powers, and walks for the first time alone, boldly and with over-confidence. She could have shouted for joy. She did shout for joy, as with a sweeping stroke or two she lifted her body to the surface of the water.
A feeling of exultation overtook her, as if some power of significant import had been given her to control the working of her body and her soul. She grew daring and reckless, overestimating her strength. She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum before. (10.6-7)
Edna’s success with swimming means much more than simply being able to swim – it means she has gained control of her body and of her movements. Can this feeling be applied to other aspects of her life?
She put it on, leaving her clothing in the bath-house. But when she was there beside the sea, absolutely alone, she cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited her.
How strange and awful it seemed to stand naked under the sky! How delicious! She felt like some new-born creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known. (39.24 – 39.25)
This is Edna’s penultimate assertion of her identity.