The Awakening Relationship Analysis

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The Ideal Friendship The friendship between Adele Ratigonlle and Edna Pontellier is perhaps one of the purest relationships in The Awakening. Kate Chopin places their relationship as an important factor to the story and to Enda’s character. The relationship between the two survives into the end of the book despite Enda and Adele being displayed as near opposites by that point. Adele is a happy, organized, house wife who enjoys her children and finds purpose in this lifestyle. Edna is juxtaposed as depressed, impulsive, and longs for independence as well as freedom from the responsibilities of her normal life. With this in mind a friendship between the two seems unlikely, nevertheless Chopin wove their bond through the plot of the Awakening.…show more content…
As the book travels on Edna defines this role less and less, as well providing several thoughts formally against it. Other characters in the Awakening such as Mademoiselle Reiz, also do not stand well as perfect examples of how 1800th century women were supposed to behave. Adele was written by Chopin as a friend, alone, in concept that she would provide readers with the standard for American women during this era. Adele loves her life and “She is what all women in her society should be like; she puts her husband and children first, centering her life around her family and her domestic duties(Miller).” Adele is also perceived as woman of self-sacrifice showing almost no interest in her own ambitions, or her own cares. This sets the stage for Adele as “the 'ideal mother'[which] was a woman who basically forsook all notions of self and desire…[and] would've had almost no life outside of her children (Breazeale, Liz).” This an important concept for the reader to know for them to gain an understanding of how women were meant to act in the setting of the Awakening and that they were expected “to be women that idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels (Chopin 4).” By providing a character like Adele who is such…show more content…
Enda’s mindset is very much alike that of many women today. She’s does not see herself as, “one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions to dispose of or not, [she] give herself as she chose (Chopin 36).” During the era in which this was written the statement quoted was very strange to hear from the mouth of a woman. The reason the reader can infer this is because of other characters in novel such as Adele and Mademoiselle Reiz. Along with the reactions these characters are given from a public stand point. The two friends of Enda each display a very different type of woman for the reader to evaluate, and compare Enda too. Adele is (as before mentioned) the ideal woman of society, and then Mademoiselle represents the opposite and independent side of that. These persons are included in Enda’s social circle to represent the fluctuation between the two personalities that Enda experiences in finding out who she wants to become. Chopin wrote the character of Adele to demonstrate how similar the two may have seemed in the beginning. As well as to show how far apart the women seemed to be towards the end. When the story begins Enda lived as best she could in alignment with Adele’s lifestyle. She took care of her children and household, even while having thoughts that, their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a
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