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.
Edna's struggle to reconcile her desires against traditional expectations provides insight into her moral and ethical dilemmas. Looking closely at her relationships with both of these men, Chopin elucidates Edna's changing understanding of morality and what is truly meaningful in her life. By examining Edna's interaction and feelings for both Leonce and Robert, Chopin provides a glimpse into her inner moral confusion and her eventual decision to choose an unconventional path. As a married woman, Edna frequently interacts with Robert without divulging the truth to Leonce. Though Robert and Edna both recognize the potentially scandalous nature of their relationship, he willingly engages and encourages Edna's feelings for him.
Edna does not partake in her civil duties as a woman. It is assumed that a mother would do anything her children, but she refuses. When talking with a friend, Edna admits that she “would give [her] life for [her] children, but [she] wouldn't give [herself],” (Chopin 64). Although Edna would sacrifice her physical self for her children, she would not give up her morals or self-respect. Edna portrays childish characteristics when she partakes in an illicit relationship, despite being married.
In Kate Chopin’ s novel, The Awakening, there are three identities inside of the female leading role, Edna Pontellier, being a wife, mother and own self. Edna was born in 19th century at the Vitoria period, a patriarchy society, women have low freedom to achieve personal goal. She married with Léonce Pontellier, a wealthy man with Creole descent. After having a child, her life is still unchangeable and as bored as before. Until she encountered Robert Leburn, Mademoiselle Reisz, and Alcée Arobin, her value of self-cognition has changed.
After swimming successfully, she develops feelings for Robert. After this awakening, Edna starts to step back and rethink her entire life; her marriage, her role, and even herself. She realizes she feels sort of imprisoned in this life she has had for so long. Edna finally starts doing things for her, she is letting herself feel an attraction for another man even though she is married and she also gets into art and has everyone in the house model for her. Rather than doing things to get the house ready for her husband or spending time playing with her children, she is distracted by all her newly found
In the late 1800s society assigned to women a specific role to play. The role included bearing children, caring for them, and honoring their husbands. People saw women who took jobs outside of the home or who never married as deranged. Kate Chopin highlights the female duties of the time in her novel, The Awakening, through the use of foils Edna and Adele. Adele represents the model of how an ideal women of the 19th century should behave and feel.
Syeda Ahmed prompt 5 The Awakening AP LIT Mr. Amoroso A modern woman emerging and developing ahead of her time, dealing with the challenges of gaining independence in a time period where woman weren’t human. This is Edna Pontellier’s conflict told in the novel the Awakening by Kate Chopin. Late in her already establish life Edna a wife and mother of two discovers herself to realize she goes against society’s ideals as a woman.
He, unlike Edna, cannot escape the confines of society as Edna is still married to Leonce, a fact that he is well aware of. Edna has embraced her awakening and has rejected societal norms; however, Roberts’s unreciprocated love serves as a sign to Edna that she is truly alone in her awakening. The relationship between Edna and Robert serves as a constant reminder that Edna is still confined by social
Edna’s inner identity reaches the breakpoint where it is necessary for her well-being that it is expressed. At this point, nothing else matters besides her intuitions and desires. This brings difficulty to her familiar relationships and friendships due to her rejection of living according to her role as a mother and a wife. Even though this conflict is addressed, it does not make an impact on her decision to remain a bit selfish through this time that she is finding herself. As a way of explaining her state of mind, Edna states that she "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’m not going to be forced into doing things. I don’t want to go abroad. I want to be let alone. Nobody has any right-except children, perhaps”(Chopin 116). Edna’s usage of the word “perhaps” represents her hesitation and details how inner edna wants something that outer edna is not inclined to do.
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was written at the end of the nineteenth century, where many roles for women began to change; therefore, the it appears to have been a turning point for females (“The Role of the Wife and Mother”). These changes in female roles were mostly due to the actions of women themselves, motivated by their desires to break away from the limits imposed on their gender The nineteenth century was a critical point in time for women, in regards to their roles in society (“The Role of the Wife and Mother”). In The Awakening, Edna goes through noteworthy changes in the course of the novel, which reconstructs her into a woman who goes against societal ideals regarding motherhood and marriage . In the 1890s, motherhood was viewed
In the 1800’s, the societal niche of married women was clearly defined: they were meant to devote every aspect of their lives to their husbands and children. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, struggles to adhere to these standards, and eventually rebels against them. The harsh standards placed on Edna and other women in the novel are like the cages around the metaphorical birds Chopin uses to represent them. Edna's unhappiness in her societal role is realized in the ocean, which symbolizes this awakening and her attempt to escape the gender roles of the nineteenth century.
Edna lives in a very male dominated society. Any orders given by the husband wouldn’t dare to be challenged by the wife. Edna has given Leonce that same sort of respect until “her will had blazed up, stubborn and resistant” (Chopin 31). She reaches a point where her influences are pulling her to resist Leonce and follow her own inhibition. Edna’s emotions stir in response to Leonce and she “wondered if her husband had ever spoken to her like that before, and if she had submitted to his command” (Chopin 31).
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.