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. She is trying to find herself in a society where she has many duties and responsibilities. From the beginning of the novel, there is a sense of tension between Mr. and Mrs. Pontellier.
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.
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. Mr. Pontellier takes great pride in his household possessions, including Edna, so as his wife, she is obligated to perform her duties that are expected of her, which limits her free-will.
A passage from the novel “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, “She would give up the unessential, but she would never sacrifice herself for her children.” (Page 155, Chopin) The novel “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin emphasizes the ideas of feminism, motherhood, and the social expectations of an individual in the time period. This novel is about a married woman exploring for more personal freedom and a more fulfilling life. In 1899 when the novel was first published, both critics and the public felt that the novel was so disturbing and morbid that it was banned. Readers of the novel argue on whether Edna Pontellier is considered justified or not justified from abandoning her children and withdrawing from her marriage. Many readers question whether Edna Pontellier is considered heroic or cowardly.
To commence,In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the main character, Edna Pontellier conforms outwardly and questions inwardly. In the novel, Edna is a wife with three children. As the story progresses, she begins to question the submissive nature of females in society.In the story, Edna states “ You have been a very, very foolish boy, wasting your time dreaming of impossible things when you speak of Mr. Pontellier setting me free! I am no longer one of Mr Pontellier’s possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose.
Edna had an affair with another man. This man goes by the name Robert and she had more attraction to Robert than she did to her own husband, the father of her children. (45)If she was fed up with her marriage then there was such a thing as divorce. This was shamed upon in society during this time period but she as a woman was not a normal woman and if she was half the woman she claims to be she would , therefore her getting a divorce wouldn’t be surprising, so this proves how much of a pathetic person she was. Worst of all, Edna had an affair on the person she was having an affair with on her husband.
Awakening Essay The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a novel filled with many conflicting perspectives in the mind of Edna Pontellier. Mrs. Pontellier is a complex character filled with different desires and ambitions for what she wants out of her life. Throughout the novel, we get to know the many sides to this character and we see who she becomes and how that leads to her eventual peaceful downfall. Starting from the beginning, she seems to have the same ideals as the typical woman in her time, but she is unhappy and her unhappiness leads to rebellion and the breaking of social norms. At the beginning of the novel, Edna learns to swim.
She admits, “Her marriage to Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate…closing the portals forever behind her upon the realm of romance and dreams” (Chopin 18). In marrying Leonce, Edna abandoned her hopes for love and adventure. Although she thought that she would outgrow her childish desires, Edna still yearned for something more in her life. She did not fit her role as a housewife, “In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman…They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands” (Chopin 10), Edna is not one of them. She is unapologetic when she chooses how to live her life.
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.