Social Norms In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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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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