Happy Death Day Film Analysis Essay Example

Happy Death Day was a popular horror movie first introduced in 2017. In summary, a young college girl, Tree Gelbman, with weak relationships with her peers and father, finds herself reliving her birthday over and over again. Because of the detrimental toll it took on her health, she decides to fight her killer back with strategy and the help of those around her. Similar to how Tree felt trapped and wanting to break free from the restrictions damaging her mental health, the protagonist Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, manifests her goal to awake from her controlling reality and strives to fulfill her idealistic standard of women’s position in her time. Instead of being pliable to society, Edna remains obdurate in order to achieve her ultimate goal of independence from her husband and children. Rather than keeping her feelings internal, she healthily expresses her thoughts, no matter the repercussions. By putting her personal benefits before others, she can keep her focus on her desire to be a liberated woman while in love with Robert. Throughout the novel, Kate Chopin’s development of Edna creates opportunities for her to achieve her pursuit of freedom, sacrificing her relationships with her family for her personal gain.

As Edna exemplifies her definition of a feminist, she grasps each opportunity that passes by her to strengthen the idealistic fate she has planned for herself. Using her integrity and bravery, Edna confidently says no, proving that Léonce obtains no power over her, giving her more strength to be on her own. Edna is in the hammock and Léonce wants her to go inside, but she refuses by saying, “I mean to stay out here. I don’t wish to go in, and I don’t intend to. Don’t speak to me like that again; I shall not answer you” (42). Edna Pontellier makes it clear that she is not submissive to her husband and that she uses to her voice to make her own decisions, even if her husband is not fond of them. Using the setting the character is displaced in, the author emphasized the passion and persistence Edna obtains to find herself and what she’s worth. Edna experienced “a feeling of exultation that overtook her” by giving her the power “to control the working of her body and her soul” (37).

The power Edna withholds when she swims is very significant for her journey of self-discovery, as she uses her surroundings to find her unique, hidden characteristics. To represent Edna’s journey for freedom uncovering her purpose in society, Kate Chopin uses symbolism to emphasize the importance of Edna cherishing her uniqueness through an allusion while enjoying a beautiful piano song. As Edna listens to the song she named “Solitude,” she pictures a man on a rock with an attitude of “hopeless resignation” watching a “distant bird winging its flight away from him” (34). The symbolism of Edna compared to a bird exemplifies her flight of ups and downs throughout the novel on her journey, like a young bird is once leaving the nest. By seeking the potential Edna obtains to achieve self-recognition, she can strive to be a woman of liberty and avert from her restraining current lifestyle.

Edna’s inner conflicts

Edna not only struggles to decipher the conflict between her and herself, but she discovers that is it difficult to choose between love and unraveling her identity. By foreshadowing when Edna reads the letters from Robert to Mademoiselle, the author allows readers to anticipate the eventual confession of Edna and Robert’s love to each other. Mademoiselle states what has been oblivious to Edna, the reason Robert has not written her is “because he loves you, poor fool, and is trying to forget you, since you are not free to listen to him or to belong to him” (108). By meeting with Mademoiselle and discovering the letters Robert has written, Edna has opportunities to express her feelings for Robert to Mademoiselle without feeling scared that her feelings are one-sided. 

Through each interaction between Robert and Edna, the author makes a connection to the theme of finding one’s identity. Edna declares her love for Robert: “I love you, only you; no one else but you. It was you who awoke me last summer out of a life-longing, stupid dream” (147). Edna constantly contradicts herself by striving to be a liberated woman, yet also wanting to be with her lover Robert, which ends up diminishing their relationship and Edna accepting the truth. Throughout the book, Edna struggles to maintain a maternal state of mind, leading up to her death in the ocean as she needs to escape her inevitable miserable reality of staying with her children. While visiting Adele during her labor, Edna reminisces on her pregnancies by recalling “an ecstasy of pain” and “the heavy odor of chloroform,” only “to find a little new life to which she had given being, added to the great unnumbered multitude of souls that come and go” (149). The irony expressed through the recollection Edna has demonstrates how she views such a beautiful miracle of life with such a negative, gloomy connotation, as this shows her attitude of carelessness towards her own children. By using precise diction to describe Edna’s emotions, Kate Chopin allows the readers to connect her expressions to her feministic goals.

Edna Pontellier oversteps the boundaries that she is restrained by in society, defying her role as a mother and wife by embracing her values as a woman. Edna dismisses the priorities that have been bestowed upon her by skipping out on reception day, which all maternal figures must take part in to represent their household. Edna replies to her husband’s interrogations of her whereabouts by stating, “… I simply felt like going out, and I went out” (68). Because Edna went against societies etiquettes for her personal benefit, her husband was deeply concerned for her, yet she is calm and unafraid to put her needs above her family’s reputation. After Léonce left with the kids for business and Edna’s sister’s wedding, Edna becomes aware of the fact that she no longer wants to live in her house because of the symbolism it portrays of a place of confinement for her. From Edna’s view, the “‘pigeon house’ stood behind a locked gate” which gives her the idea that she could be isolated there (124).

Edna Pontellier interpreted this house as a safe haven for her or protection from her responsibilities she left at her old house, demonstrating she has no relation to her old house anymore, which is a huge step for her achieving ultimate independence. Because Edna wanted to see a change in her lifestyle, she took it upon herself to have her unwilling kids to pose for her paintings. The boys were described “patient as savages” while Edna, their mother, painted them even though the boys felt that “the occupation soon lost its attractiveness when they discovered that it was not a game” (77). The simile of the boys being patient contradicts the idea that they could have been savages, as savages are ferocious, which means that the boys struggled to cooperate during this uneasy physical state. Edna goes beyond the pre-existing thresholds that limit her abilities as a woman, discovering that she is not happy with the lifestyle in which she has been accustomed to and attempts to diminish the idea that she is only used for household oriented tasks.


Although Edna has good intentions with her feministic mindset, they are selfish to those around her yet she does not notice as she only cares about her goal. As Edna awakes from her awful reality throughout the novel The Awakening, she eagerly attempts to alter her kismet. Edna tells her husband that she will not succumb to the demands of him by not going inside when he requests her to. The dilemma Edna experiences within the plot is her excursion to find independence as a woman but falls in love with Robert, therefore, contradicting her initiate intent. Edna hunts for opportunities to find self-recognition by voicing her opinion and expressing her wants and desires. Rather than putting her children’s need and her family’s reputation above her own essentials, she prioritizes her own enjoyment to make her feel valued. Edna makes several egocentric decisions in the falling action as she gets closer to her laxity in her life, knowingly damaging already poor relationships. The reason the book was banned in libraries and book stories was to refrain women from reading The Awakening and fully comprehend the actuality of their society being a man’s world and ultimately stopping women from obtaining the feministic ideas Edna had.



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