In Edna Pontellier

In Edna Pontellier -...

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In Edna Pontellier's America, female sexuality was an utterly taboo subject. For women, sex was  supposed to be a means to one specific end: making babies within the context of marriage. Part of  the reason Edna's behavior seemed so scandalous at the time was that her sexuality neither began  nor ended with her husband as the times dictated it ought; she discovered it with other men after she  was already married. Further, Edna advances not only in knowledge of her sexuality but also in awareness of her  spirituality: Upon moving into the pigeon house, she has a sense "of having descended in the social  scale, with a corresponding sense of having risen in the spiritual." This increase in her spiritual stock  occurs  after  she has begun her affair with Arobin, a point at which a standard heroine of the times  should have felt irredeemably shamed and certainly less spiritually advanced. Edna's sexual awakening is doubtless a reflection of the sexuality glorified in Walt Whitman's 
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

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