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The Awakening

The Awakening

by Kate Chopin

Respect and Reputation Quotes

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Quote #7

Edna had found her old bathing suit still hanging, faded, upon its accustomed peg.

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. (39.24-26)

For the first time, Edna casts off the most basic restraint (clothing) that society has pressed upon her, and stands naked beneath the sky, not caring about her reputation or appearance.

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