I must think about it" (27.4). Edna fully understands that society would brand her as a terrible woman, but she does not view herself as a bad person. There is an external and internal difference that Edna hopes to one day reconcile. Chopin, instead of creating tension within Edna, created tension within the society and Edna with her newfound independence does not mind how society classifies her. Decisively, it can be concluded that the tension between outward conformity and inward questioning builds the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period.
During the American Modernist period the first wave of feminism emerged during this period which many of its characteristics is seen in The House of Mirth. Women actively sought changes that would allow them to experience life as men’s equals rather than as their subordinates. Gender roles were rigidly defined, and women who resisted them were often ignored, and/or criticized. As a result of these and many other limiting factors, women, especially wives, were significantly dependent on men. In Edith Wharton's Arguments with America, Elizabeth Ammons notes that: The culture at large boasted symbols of progress like the world-famous Woman's Building or the Amazonian Gibson Girl, announcements each of the modern woman's freedom from Victorian strictures...With this enthusiasm in the air, Edith Wharton sounded a sour, dissenting note.
Turpin and the grandmother’s character, Flannery O’Connor made them very hypocritical and made sure her readers would notice it. The two women’s behavior came off in a way that suggested they had higher standards and were above everybody they encountered. Grandmother believes that where you stand in the social class depends on your blood and the family you were born into. Mrs. Turpin judged others and their place in the social class by whether they owned land or a home, and by their race, “Sometimes Mrs. Turpin occupied herself at night naming the classes of people.” (pg. 416) Both ladies can be considered racists in many parts of both stories.
Her thoughts take precedence over images, Instead of being given lovely images of her children, the reader is left to imagine the fleeting moments of mother-child interaction. Unlike with the idealized relationships of Madame Ratignolle, much of Edna’s raising of her children is out of necessity and they are simply a force that keeps Edna from having her own individuality. In the society represented in The Awakening, it is clear that mothers who err from the patterns of married female behavior are frowned upon by their husbands. Chopin also makes it clear that the husbands in the book, especially Edna’s husband Leonce, feel that it is necessary to intervene in their wives lives, in order to make judgments of their profession as a mother and wife. In her husband’s relationship with Edna there is no question of his devotion to her, but the reader cannot ignore the issue of economics that continually comes up anytime he finds himself dissatisfied with his wife.
CQ: Creole culture values place women in a submissive role while granting men the ability act as dominantly and freely as they wish. Why does the Creole society isolate Edna while idolizing Adele? In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Creole culture and norms subjectify women through the imprisonment of the Creole culture and norms. These cultural norms confine women to the every wish of their husbands. Thus, women who aspire to be individualistic suffer under the intense regulations of the Creole culture.
During the nineteenth century, possessions, including women, and the home represented status, wealth, and power that only men possessed. In The Awakening, the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, becomes highly conscious of herself as an individual who has the potential to be self-sufficient and do as she desires. She begins to defy the standards of woman during the nineteenth century through iconoclastic beliefs that eventually lead Edna to participating in an affair and leaving her husband, Leonce. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin uses the motif of the home to highlight Edna’s responsibilities as a mother and wife and to also track the progression and evolution of Edna’s state of freedom. Mr. Pontellier takes great pride in his household possessions, including Edna, so as his wife, she is obligated to perform her duties that are expected of her, which limits her free-will.
Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz both complement and contradict one another with the beliefs of the societal norms that are presented throughout the novel. The function assigned by the addition of foils in The Awakening in support of the theme are represented by the effects upon others characters, such as Madame Pontellier, and the choice activities that are available to them. The idea of how women cannot obtain societal norms without the elimination of their independence is strongly represented in the novella, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, by foil characters. In today’s society, women still fight for the right to be their own person and exercise their own independence within their own
It describes momism as “the demonic version of domestic ideology” (Rogin, 8) and the loss of the typical role of women in society prior to the war. Previously women were limited to managing the household but during the war the opportunities for women expanded. Being allowed these opportunities women had acquired a taste of the powers and liberties that came with them. As soon as the men returned back to their former roles and reestablished America as a patriarchal based society they forced women back to their structured household roles. Some women resented returning to their former roles of taking care of the home so instead they searched for new roles.
In the Awakening Edna Pontellier was an unstable character, she upsets the expectations of the nineteen century women’s role. Chopin focuses on two females that influence Edna`s life and help her in what we see are her awakenings Both of these characters will represent the role of women’s in the nineteen century. Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz are the examples that the men around Edna contrast her with and who they obtain their expectations for her. Edna begins to see that the life of freedom and individuality that she wants goes against both society and nature. She cannot free herself not even through suicide.
Women have experienced centuries of hardship on account of the oppressive dominion of American society. They have endured the absence of the fundamental American rights and unrestrained opportunities which were solely devoted to their male counterparts. However, women did participate in notable aspects of American society, including social movements and war. Beginning in the mid-1800s, women became extensively involved in social reform movements; by aggregating their social influence, they were able to counter detrimental institutions such as slavery and alcoholism. However, despite their aggressive action for reform, women were frequently hindered as their rights were stripped and their positions were taken for granted.