by Kate Chopin
The Awakening Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach. She silently reached out to him, and he, understanding, took the rings from his vest pocket and dropped them into her open palm. She slipped them upon her fingers. (1.10)
At the start of the novel, Edna is a model wife who meekly accepts the constraints symbolized by a wedding ring. This scene should be viewed in marked contrast to the scene in which Edna attempts to break her wedding ring.
Even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life—that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions (7.1).
There are two Ednas – an Inner Edna and an Outer Edna – and the two do not match up. The Outer Edna conforms to societal expectations while the Inner Edna questions her actions. Over time, we see the Inner Edna begin to dominate the Outer Edna, and she becomes much more whole.