The Awakening Quotes

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The Awakening Quotes

Quote 1: "Mr. Pontellier wore eye-glasses. He was a man of forty, of medium height and rather slender build; he stooped a little. His hair was brown and straight, parted on one side. His beard was neatly and closely trimmed." Chapter 1, pg. 2

Quote 2: "...looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage." Chapter 1, pg. 3

Quote 3: "He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it?" Chapter 3, pg. 7

Quote 4: "The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels." Chapter 4, pg. 10

Quote 5: "The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clearing, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in the abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace." Chapter 6, pg. 17

Quote 6: "Her marriage to Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate. It was in the midst of her secret great passion that she met him. He fell in love, as men are in the habit of doing, and pressed his suit with an earnestness and ardor which left nothing to be desired." Chapter 6, pg. 23-24

Quote 7: "The very first chords which Mademoiselle Reisz struck upon the piano sent a keen tremor down Mrs. Pontellier's spinal column. It was not the first time she had heard an artist at the piano. Perhaps it was the first time she was ready, perhaps the first time her being was tempered to take an impress of the abiding truth...She saw no pictures of solitude, of hope, of longing, or of despair. But the very passions themselves were aroused within her soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves daily beat upon her splendid body. She trembled, she was choking, and the tears blinded her." Chapter 9, pg. 33-34

Quote 8: "A feeling of exultation overtook her, as if some power of significant import had been given her to control the working of her body and her soul. She grew daring and reckless, overestimating her strength. She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum before." Chapter 10, pg. 36

Quote 9: "That she was seeing with different eyes and making the acquaintance of new conditions in herself that colored and changed her environment, she did not yet suspect." Chapter 14, pg. 53

Quote 10: "For the first time, she recognized the symptoms of infatuation which she had felt incipiently as a child, as a girl in her early teens, and later as a young woman. The recognition did not lesson the reality, the poignancy of the revelation by any suggestion or promise of instability. The past was nothing to her; offered no lesson which she was willing to heed. The future was a mystery which she never attempted to penetrate. The present alone was significant; was hers, to torture her as it was doing then with the biting conviction that she had lost that which she had held, she had been denied that which her impassioned, newly awakened being demanded. Chapter 15, pg. 59

Quote 11: "I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself. I can't make it more clear; it's only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me." Chapter 16, pg. 62

Quote 12: "She was seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods. But the voices were not soothing that came to her from the darkness and the sky above and the stars. They jeered and sounded mournful notes without promise, devoid even of hope." Chapter 17, pg. 69

Quote 13: "It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier's mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally. He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we would assume like a garment with which to appear before the world." Chapter 19, pg. 75

Quote 14: "Courageous, ma foi! The brave soul. The soul that dares and defies." Chapter 21, pg. 84

Quote 15: "Woman, my dear friend, is a very peculiar and delicate organism - a sensitive and highly organized woman, such as I know Mrs. Pontellier to be, is especially peculiar. It would require an inspired psychologist to deal successfully with them. And when ordinary fellows like you and me attempt to cope with their idiosyncrasies the result is bungling. Most women are moody and whimsical. This is some passing whim of your wife, due to some cause or cause which you and I needn't try to fathom." Chapter 22, pg. 87

Quote 16: "A feeling that was unfamiliar, but very delicious came over her." Chapter 24, pg. 95

Quote 17: "Her husband seemed to her now like a person whom she had married without love as an excuse." Chapter 25, pg. 102


Quote 18: "Conditions would some way adjust themselves, she felt; but whatever came, she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself." Chapter 26, pg. 106

Quote 19: "There was something in her attitude, in her whole appearance when she leaned her head against the high-backed chair and spread her arms, which suggested the regal woman, the one who rules, who looks on, who stands alone." Chapter 30, pg. 117-118

Quote 20: "He did not answer, except to continue to caress her. He did not say good night until she had become supple to his gentle, seductive entreaties." Chapter 31, pg. 123

Quote 21: "She writhed with a jealous pang. She wondered when he would come back. He had not said he would come back. She had been wit him, had heard his voice and touched his hand. But some way he had seemed neared to her off there in Mexico." Chapter 34, pg. 136

Quote 22: "She put her hand up to his face and pressed his cheek against her own. The action was full of love and tenderness. He sought her lips again. Then he drew her down upon the sofa beside him and held her hand in both of his." Chapter 36, pg. 141

Quote 23: "Her seductive voice, together with his great love for her, had enthralled his sense, had deprived him of every impulse but the longing to hold her and keep her." Chapter 36, pg. 142

Quote 24: "I love you. Good-by - because I love you." Chapter 38, pg. 148

Quote 25: "The water of the Gulf stretched out before her, gleaming with the million lights of the sun. The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander n abysses of solitude. All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in sight. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water." Chapter 39, pg. 151-152

Quote 26: "She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again. Edna heard her father's voice and her sister Margaret's. She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air." Chapter 39, pg. 153

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