Quotes About Edna's Isolation

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Edna Pontellier is isolated from the secular society in which she lives. Her “pigeon house”, feelings towards her husband and children, and her independent spirit set her apart from the other women of the twentieth century. Edna’s isolation highlights the values of society at the time such as the importance of a person’s outward appearance. Overwhelmed by her husband’s extravagant house, Edna decides to buy her own house when her husband and children are away. This act displays Edna’s disregard for appearance. However, Edna’s husband worries about his wife’s decision, but not because Edna is moving out of his house. He is preoccupied with “what people would say” about their “financial integrity” if people discovered that Edna is moving into a smaller house. Mr. Pontellier does not even care that his wife is moving out …show more content…

Mr. Pontellier, representing the typical husband of that era, looks at his wife “as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property.” As a wife, society expects you to listen to your husband and to take care of your husbands needs. Early in the novel, it is established that Edna is unique because she defies her husband’s commands. For example, Edna is asked to go inside with her husband when she is at Grand Isle, but she simply tells him that she is “going to stay out here.” However, when Mr. Potellier gets more demanding, Edna gets more confident, stating that she will not answer him if he continues to speak to her “like that.” Mr. Potellier is baffled by Edna’s “odd” behavior and talks to a few different people about Edna. The doctor assumes that Edna has some kind of hereditary issue, and Edna’s father suggests that Mr. Pontellier “put [his] foot own good and hard” because that’s “the only way to manage a wife.” Both suggestions reflect societal values as a whole. Edna’s exclusion from society because she is not a typical wife exposes the way society values men over

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