The Concept of the Love Triangle and Its Effects on the Choices of Edna in Robert Lee Mahon’s Article About Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

Beyond the Love Triangle: Trios in The Awakening is an article about Kate Chopin’s The Awakening written by Robert Lee Mahon. In this article, Mahon presents a new concept that had many major effects on Edna’s choices, including her choice to drown herself to death. Mahon points out to the fact that Kate Chopin constantly illustrates Edna’s position between two extremes, and is always in a triangle. This article could be very helpful to the readers, for it will show the difficulties Edna has gone through throughout her life by being put in an extreme position.

Mahon starts his article by providing the focus of his essay, which is to illustrate that the catastrophe which results in Edna’s awakening and death is a result of her being stuck between two extremes. The author successfully presents his concept by providing examples that supports his argument, one example he mentions is Edna’s birth order. She is in the middle of her two sisters, the eldest, “who is labeled as matronly and dignified” and the younger, illustrated as “something of a vixen”. (229). Another extreme Edna was stuck between according to the author is a two-females triangle. She is trapped between two females, Adele Ratignolle, a traditional and ‘typical’ female, who is depicted as a perfect mother and wife. And Mademoiselle Reisz who is far away from being “traditional and acceptable”. (230). Edna is expected by society to be either an angel or a devil. A traditional and typical mother like Adele or an independent woman like Madame Reisz. In addition, she was stuck in many more triangles, her two children, Robert and Mr. Pontellier and Iberville, New York and New Orleans. All of the triangles mentioned by the author demonstrates the dilemma Edna Pontellier is trapped in, and illustrates her indecisive power. This article, which is written by Mahon, has successfully tackled the focus of the essay, by presenting the triangle concept. The triangle concept, which has been presented to us by Mahon, is very helpful in order to understand the true reasons behind Edna’s various choices. As for the weaknesses, the article lacks transitional words and bridging sentences, for instance the author does not move from an idea to the other smoothly.

In summary, Beyond the Love Triangle: Trios in The Awakening presents a new concept that was thoroughly explained by the author. Edna’s position, which is being trapped between two extremes, has contributed to her tragedy. This article, even though it was written in 1998, could still help potential readers who are interested in knowing the actual reasons that led to the ending of Edna Pontellier.

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