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McCarter Christopher McCarterMrs. Deidra RomeroAP Literature13 February 2014Edna’s Suicide in The Awakening: An Act of InsanityThe ending of Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening is controversial and polarizing among its critics. One group of critics see Edna Pontellier’s awakening as one of mental clarity and her suicide as a triumphant action because it served as the only means of her being able to escape the social constraints facing women. Another group of critics believes that Edna’s actions were a result of her declining metal stability. I tend to agree with this second group of critics. I assert that Edna’s suicide in the closing lines of The Awakening was the result of her being unable to cope with the male-dominant society that oppressed her and the recent disappearance of Robert from her life.Dr. Iraj Montashery took a stance in between these two views in a recent article he wrote for the Journal of Comparative Literature and Culture when he argued that Edna’s return to the sea represented, “…a return to genuine feminine qualities and desires” (149). Dr. Montashery concluded that, “[Edna] finally decides not to return to the restrictive realm of patriarchal society by seeking refuge in the maternal realm of the sea” (149). While the position taken my Dr. Montashery may not be identical to first position presented in the introductory paragraph, I still believe it to be incorrect and inconsiderate of the circumstances facing Edna before she made her fatal decision. Dr. Montashery’s stance fails to take into account that Edna