Daily life in the Victorian era held people to many expectations on how they were supposed to live, whom to talk to, and for women, how to take care of the family. This caused some women, who were free-spirited, to rebel against the expectations and etiquette of the time. In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening Edna’s actions break society’s expectation of social norms for women in the Victorian era.
In the Victorian era a wife is expected to live happily in the same house as her husband, but Edna decides that she wants to move out and into her own little house. She feels very trapped in a house that is only filled with her husband’s items and impulsively decides that it is not to her liking. While talking to Mademoiselle Riesz about her decision, Edna states “I know I shall like it, like the …show more content…
She feels no connection to her husband as she did not marry him out of love, so while he is away she is drawn to men who ignite passion within her. One of the men is Alcée Arobin who despite her marriage flirts with Edna anyway. One night, after he has parted from her, she thinks of him “Yet his presence, his manners, the warmth of his glances, and above all the touch of his lips upon her hand had acted like a narcotic upon her” (Chopin 102). Edna
Robert Quote PARAPHRASE (and in her moment of passion towards Arobin she wondered “What would he think? She did not mean her husband; she was thinking of Robert Lebrun” (Chopin 102).
Thus, as she was not devoted to her husband she did not fill her role as a wife and mother.
It was not in Edna’s nature to be attentive or loving towards her husband and their children. This was looked down upon by society because the belief was that the mother is supposed to give up her life for them. Léonce, her husband, was also very disapproving in Edna’s lack of motherly care for their
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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 father states that a man must use “authority” and “coercion” in all matters concerning his wife. Alcée kisses Edna’s hand and writes her a letter of apology for it. That kiss made her think of Robert. Edna tells Mademoiselle Reisz that she loves Robert. Edna decides to move out and get a new house so she could be independent and her husband could not possess
Edna Pontellier, the main character in Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening, is portrayed as an incredibly independent woman and one who tends to reject almost all traditional societal norms, and instead chooses to fight her way towards emancipation from her husband, a foreign concept during the time period in which this novel was written in. Edna’s struggles to gain this independence so strives so strongly for, and in doing so she manages to separate herself from her husband, and reunite with a lover, Robert, from her past that she had forsaken when she married. All these events that work to emancipate Edna from her former life and get her the freedom she craves, ultimately leads her to her unpredicted suicide. While the motives of her suicide seems to be confusing, when looking into this issue more indepthly, Edna’s motives for killing herself can be more easily understood.
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.
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.
The most rewarding attributes of this experience for Edna would be the feeling of satisfaction of conquering something in a world where woman are seen as nothing; much like a child’s excitement at their newly gained knowledge. In Chopin’s own word she describes “A feeling of exultation overtook her as if some power of significant import had been given her to control the working of her body and her soul” (page27). Although she is not ashamed of who she is becoming there is still a need to hide which is greatly caused by her surroundings. This can be seen when Edna takes her turn reading a shared book that has been passed around the cottages. Reading this book left her wonderstruck
His life revolves around his work. To him, Edna is more of a possession than a human being. He expects Edna to take care of the children and everything around the house while he is off doing business. Although Leonce does not agree with Edna's parenting skills, he does not take it upon himself to do better for the children either. He
This novel, The Awakening, is about a woman named Edna Pontellier learns to think of herself as an independent human being. Also, Edna Pontellier refuses to obey against the social norms by leaving her husband Leónce Pontellier and having an affair with Robert Lebrun. Kate Chopin describes societal expectations and the battle of fitting the mold of motherhood in the Awakening by how Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle contribute to their family in different ways. Edna Pontellier’s attitude toward motherhood is that she is not a perfect mother-women. Adele Ratignolle’s attitude toward motherhood is that she is a perfect mother-women.
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
When she comes back from the island, this new outlook on life clashes with her husband’s old world values, and he endeavors to stop what he sees as utter madness. At one point, a family doctor recommends to Léonce that Edna spend time at her ancestral home, far away from the water, to return her behavior to what he knows as normal. Edna expresses a dislike of and actively avoids certain parts of society, but cannot fully separate herself from the motherly duties forced onto her by traditional gender roles, unlike her muse Mademoiselle Reisz. These duties, ultimately, prove to be the fetters that cause Edna to sink downward, and lead her to end her life in the same ocean where it truly
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
Often times, literary works can easily distinguish between a good character or an evil character. Other times, a character can be very complex, which makes it difficult to characterize the character as good or evil. This complex character complex is known as Moral Ambiguity. In other words, readers are discouraged from identifying a character as purely good or evil. One particular character that can be views as morally ambiguous is a woman named Edna Pontellier.
Edna’s marriage to Leonce “was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate. It was in the midst of her secret great passion that she met him. He fell in love, as men are in the habit of doing, and pressed his suit with an earnestness and ardor which left nothing to be desired” (Chopin 18). As Edna’s awakening develops, she begins to act out of character, driven by her inward desires. She starts spending more and more time with Robert, and while Leonce is aware, he pays no attention to the affair.
It is common for people in everyday society to conform to society’s expectations while also questioning their true desires. In the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, the main protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess, "That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions." In other words, Edna outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Kate Chopin, uses this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning to build the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period. Edna outwardly conforms to society’s expectations by marriage.
Throughout the novel Edna imagined this perfect life with Robert filled with impetuous passion. Though Robert loved Edna, he decided to leave for Mexico to avoid a morally wrong relationship with her. Even after returning to Louisiana, Robert abandons Edna a second time only leaving a note stating “I love you. Good-by—because I love you” (Chopin 198). The reality of Edna’s relationship with Robert would never meet her expectations due to her legal connection to Leonce.