Léonce Pontellier In The Awakening

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Lèonce Pontellier In The Awakening

In Kate Chopin’s novella, The Awakening, Léonce Pontellier, Edna Pontellier, and their children spend the summer in La Grand Isle. Grand Isle is a town in Louisiana, populated with Creole families. Not able to meet the Creole social standards and be true to herself, Edna, with the help of her husband, becomes aware that she is meant to be an independant woman. Lèonce’s high focus on his image and business makes it hard for him to see his wife's process of self-discovery, he becomes apathetic and can even be ill- tempered towards Edna.

Lèonce Pontellier shows a lack of interest and enthusiasm for Edna and her hobbies. When Lèonce say’s ‘“What folly! To bathe at such an hour in such heat.”’(Chopin 2) you are able to see Lèonce has a degree of frustration built up for his wife, Edna. ‘“You are burnt beyond recognition,” he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property
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He gives Edna plenty of money, “Mr. Pontellier gave his wife half of the money which he had brought away from Klein's hotel the evening before.” (9), and sends her gifts, “A few days later a box arrived for Mrs. Pontellier from her husband. it was filled with friandises, with luscious and toothsome bits- the finest fruits, patés, a rare bottle or two, delicious syrups, and bonbons in abundance.” (8). Lèonce Pontellier is also a very popular figure. Since he sees Edna as a valuable object, he expects her to be the perfect wife model in return- take care of the house, be very caring for their children, and keep up with the creole social standards that he sees necessary. “It would have been a difficult matter for Mr. Pontellier to define to his own satisfaction or anyone else's wherein his wife failed in her duty toward their children.” (9). Being the perfect husband in the Creole culture it makes it very easy to focus on his wife's character and her process of self

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