In The Awakening, Chopin uses other characters to display Edna Pontellier’s desires and social limitations to shape her new outlook on life. Mademoiselle Reisz and Madame Ratignolle play different roles in Edna’s development throughout the novel by influencing her to become a new woman in society. Mademoiselle Reisz is the most influential character toward Edna because she represents freedom and independence. She lives an unmarried, childless life dedicated to music such as the piano. Through music she is in touch with her emotions and does not fear judgment from society. Because she is not very sociable, she is amazed at the connection with Edna through music. Mademoiselle Reisz’s awareness of Edna’s passion to pursue art makes Mademoiselle …show more content…
Adele is “the embodiment of every womanly grace and charm” who “idolizes their children, their husbands” (9). Together Edna and Madame Ratignolle discuss womanly duties of sewing and childbirth. Through their friendship, Edna confides her dual life that conforms and questions in Madame Ratignolle. Madame Ratignolle conformist lifestyle motivates Edna to become her own person away from the Victorian feminine ideal. Adele’s beliefs that a woman should devote her life to service leads her to advice Edna to “think of the children [and] remember them” (104). Edna selfishly believes that her children are well without her and decides to depart from her societal duties and to seek freedom and independence. Adele unpurposely influences Edna to abandon her life in hope of rebirth. Mademoiselle Reisz and Madame Ratignolle both influence Edna to become a redefined woman. Before Edna’s awakening, Edna believed that her life would never be fulfilled through her marriage to Leonce because of her lack of free will. The discovery of her own identity leads to Edna’s rebellion and heroic decision to take her own life in act toward freedom from controlling powers. Her passions, desires, strength, and courage to defy societal expectations demonstrates her desire to be reborn into a life of passion and
She loves to play piano and doesn’t care about the opinions of others. This helps Edna do the same but through art. Edna learns that Mademoiselle Reisz is writing with Robert, and she is the only one who knows about their love for each other.
In nineteenth century Louisiana, Creole’s lived by strict rules to explain how Creole household’s run: “The man ruled his household and his wife was considered part of his property. He was permitted to take a[nother] mistress if he liked, though his wife was expected to remain faithful” (Kosewick 3). The wives of the household are also “expected to be of good character” and “loyal, passive, innocent lovers”, despite the fact that their husband can take another woman of his liking out and the wife sat back and watched her husband have a plentiful time with the other woman (Kosewick 3). If the wife of the household does anything outside of the norms within their Creole society, she was frowned upon and disgraced. Rarely, women rebelled against
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.
McKenna Martin Mrs. Schroder AP Literature 3 January 2018 The Awakening Outside Essay - 1999 Prompt The Awakening showcases Edna Pontellier, a housewife residing in New Orleans, Louisiana during the early 1900s. Edna Pontellier is married to Leonce Pontellier and they have two sons together. Edna is consumed in internal conflicts throughout the entire novel.
In addition, the search for self-identity is viewed as important in today’s society. Thus, these confliction attributes lead the reader to identify Edna as morally ambiguous. Categorizing complex characters as purely good or purely evil is not one of the easiest of tasks. As a result, it is best to characterize them as morally ambiguous. In Edna’s case, she is morally ambiguous due to her romantic affiliations and role-defying actions, but both are immensely vital to Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” as a complete whole.
Women during Edna’s time were supposed to be dedicated to their husbands and children, however, Edna yearned for her own independence, and as a result of wanting her own independence Edna knew that she was seen as a terrible person. For instance Edna wanted to “…try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it" (27.4).
Kate Chopin's The Great Awakening explains how Edna Pontellier, an everyday woman of the nineteenth century, opens up and explores herself. A majority of the important characters in her story are the men in Edna's life. Men like Leonce, Robert, and Alcee all are key pieces to her awakening. They all influence Edna in their own ways. Leonce Pontellier is a controlling husband and an all around materialistic man.
Edna and Adele are both upper- class women, they are married Creole men and they have children, they both live in the Creole neighborhood. Edna and Adele both enjoy creative activity “ she had possession of the rocker and she was busily engaged in sewing, she had brought the pattern of the drawers for Mrs. Pontellier to cut out” (17). Edna was drawing while Adele was sewing, However, Adele is a more typical wife of the nineteenth century, she accepts the motherly role as she makes clothes for her children and seems to enjoy her life as a mother. Edna, on the other hand, does not share the same affections, she said to Adele “ I would give my money, I would not give up my life for my children”(79).
Adele is a “mother-woman” entirely, concentrates on domesticity, cares and praises her husband and child, and interested in everything related to her family, any individual ideality is not a public intention. Once a time, Adele is playing the piano in front of the guests who came to her party. Edna just realized that what Adele plays cannot touch her deeply, but just a performance without soul, in order to her children and seems as the ability that a housewife should possess, to please the guests and show the cleaver and wise. In the deep of Edna, to being a full-time home worker is not her will and not the individual ideals she seeking for. When Edna and Adele with their families went to Grand Isle, sometimes, Edna will put herself into their children completely or forget them.
Edna’s life is less rough than the women because Kate Chopin the author of the Awakening plays with the connection of reality vs. appearance. This connection highlights the situation of people as she puts on a mask to fit the social expectations. In the novel we can see, Edna lives in a life with two different personalities. We can see this at the beginning of the book in chapter 7, “even as a child she had lived her own small life all within herself. At a very early
In The Awakening, Edna represents desire, impulse, and rebellion. While Adele represents the socially accepted woman, she is submissive, obedient, and a homemaker. This drastic contrast facilitates Chopin's emphasis on Edna’s rebellion, and how drastic it was for the time period. “Edna's experience of self-discovery, "tangled" and chaotic and therefore "vague" or hard for her to comprehend, touches upon a core issue, of individual variation and the uncertainty involved in its creation, expression, and consequences.” (Glendening).
Mlle. Reisz’s strength also serves to contrast Edna’s eventual failure to fully achieve her autonomy, informing the reader even further of Edna’s character. Though Edna was strong enough to begin a personal movement toward passion, freedom, and independence, her character wasn’t strong enough to complete it. Browning’s “The Last Duchess” and Chopin’s The Awakening create two completely different relationships between their protagonist and confidant, the former composed of two near strangers and the latter being an intimate friendship.
In Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” shows a controversial protagonist, Edna Pontellier. The character in the novel showed different expectations for women and their supposed roles. One literary critic, Megan Kaplon showed how this novel can be viewed as a struggle of the world or society around her. Edna in the story is trying to find freedom and individuality Kaplon mentions that “one of her most shocking actions was her denial of her role as a mother and wife.”