Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

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Theme 2: The Awakening

The Awakening

Kate Chopin, 1899
Famous for: A free-thinking leading lady who refused to be caged by society's expectations. A beginning and an ending at the ocean.

Themes like Indepence =  Solitude in The Awakening by Kate Chopin| 60second Recap®He loves her. He loves her…not so much that he’s willing to risk their mutual destruction.

Cruel irony: Robert’s gallant refusal to enter into an adulterous affair with Edna sends her into the abyss. (Literally: Here’s the Recap on the sea as a symbol in The Awakening ). It also illustrates a second major theme in Kate Chopin’s tale of tragic self-discovery:

Independence leads to solitude.


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: Another independent, lonely protagonist | 60second Book Review

Check out our 60second Book Review of
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.

Spoiler alert: In this recap, we’ll talk about the ending of The Awakening. There’s no way to avoid: You’ll need to know what happens between Edna and Robert if you’re going to understand Theme Two.

Edna and Robert don’t get together. They are honest about their feelings for one another. But in the end, Robert decides in favor of morals—in favor of society’s rules—instead of in favor of love. When Edna leaves to help her friend Adele, Robert takes off.

Edna is alone.

And that’s theme two in this story: The way independence leads to solitude.

Just think about everything Edna loses as she becomes more independent. She loses any kind of relationship she had with her husband. She loses any kind of relationship she had with her children. And she loses the company of “civilized society”—in other words, she chooses to be alone rather than spending time with her husband’s business associates.

Worst of all, though, Edna loses Robert. Ultimately, Edna is completely isolated in her awakening. She, and she alone, has had the independence to cross the boundaries of social convention, and the result is everlasting solitude.


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