Edna fully understands that society would brand her as a terrible woman, but she does not view herself as a bad person. There is an external and internal difference that Edna hopes to one day reconcile. Chopin, instead of creating tension within Edna, created tension within the society and Edna with her newfound independence does not mind how society classifies her. Decisively, it can be concluded that the tension between outward conformity and inward questioning builds the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period.
From these two women’s Edna awakens and feels and understands the women or motherhood image she just does not see the male figure. Both of these characters will represent the role of women’s in the nineteen century. The Awakening is a novel that brought Kate Chopin, although not during her life time, the fame of an advocate of women’s rights (Wolff 449). THESIS STATEMENT:
In The House of Mirth, Lily struggles with whether or not she should get married like all the other women that she knows, or if she should just accept the fact that she will not have a husband. Both Wharton and Chopin’s stories use similar themes and ideas in order to show that regardless of whether women were trying to find themselves or save themselves, things were different for them simply because they were females. In both The Awakening and The House of Mirth, the theme of “Freedom vs Slavery” is used to show that life was undoubtedly different for men and women. In The Awakening, the theme of freedom vs slavery is shown because throughout the novel it addresses that women are nothing without their men and that it is impossible for a woman to do anything better than a man.
Within the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Madame Ratignolle’s character possesses traits that emphasize, by contrast the characteristics and behavior of Edna Pontellier. Despite being close friends within the novel, Adele and Edna have contrasting views and behaviors that illuminate the theme of female freedom and the tradition of female submission and male domination. Madame Ratignolle and Edna Pontellier are close friends, but their views toward raising children differ fundamentally. Madame Ratignolle would sacrifice her identity to devote herself entirely to her children, household, and husband, whereas Edna would not. Besides their views towards raising children, how they raise their children also differs.
The Great Gatsby is a novel filled with characters that drastically compare and contrast. Two characters that are surprisingly similar are Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson. While both characters have things in common, they also have things that differ. The characters have different wants in life, but both turn to having affairs in order to fulfill these wants. Two women who despise each other have more in common than meets the eye.
It makes no difference to me, it doesn’t matter about Leonce Pontellier—but Raoul and Etienne!” (Chopin, 108). The hyphen points to the one exception to the rule, Raoul and Etienne. Of course, that is not to say that Edna possess the typical relationship that a mother has with her children. In fact, her relationship is far from that.
Although, Kate wondered how a young girl could help with Helen, since, the Kellers could not get Helen to sit still, or even to behave. Kate was expecting a governess that was older than a twenty-year-old, Annie. Annie told Kate the advantages she possesses in helping Helen such as, her too was blind. The fact that Annie was blind caught Kate’s attention. In addition, Annie continued to convince Kate on why she is the right person to help Helen when she mentioned that Dr. Howe taught her all she needed to know.
At first glance, Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz are opposites to one another, but as Edna has yet to conclude, both are responsible for the decision of Edna longing to become a single woman again. A foil is defined as “a gauge by which to judge the behavior of both characters better by putting their actions into perspective,” according to the English Companion. In The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, written in 1899, the author presents the readers with a pair of foils. The contrast of Mademoiselle Reisz and Madame Ratignolle supports the theme of The Awakening by proving that women cannot obtain societal norms without the elimination of their independance. Madame Ratignolle is the textbook perfect mother.
Bernice prides herself in her family’s old fashioned values, that a woman must be polite and gentle in order to be feminine. However, since she never was allowed to fully express herself, her social skills turned awry and she fails to win the attention of men. Therefore, she seeks her cousin,
Women have always been given guidelines to follow and if they are not followed they are judged by others, this still holds true today;8 however they have a bit more leeway. In the late 1800’s, there was no leeway at all, there was a set of virtues women must follow to be seen as the ideal woman. In the short story, “The Storm,” written by Kate Chopin, she uses symbolism and repetition to show that woman can still be an individual outside of the virtues they are assigned to follow and live up to, to argue that the reality set in place for them was not the only reality they had to live, they could be themselves as well.
Kate Chopin stood as a feminist icon at the turn of the nineteenth century with feminism running rampant through her short stories. In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is often seen as the ideal feminist, due to her sought out independence from her husband and her family. Often readers overlook Madame Adele Ratignolle as a feminist because she is thought to be the perfect mother and wife, unlike Edna as she separates herself from her family in search of a personal awakening in a way that would be seen as selfish. The reader is led to believe that Adele is the complete opposite of Edna because she is the “mother-woman” of the story. Madame Adele is not perfect by any means; regardless of what stereotype the narrator tries to place her in.
Morbid, vulgar, and disagreeable are just a few descriptors used by critics to describe Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. Chopin is amongst the first feminist writers of the twentieth century writing two novels and about a hundred short stories, most of which the protagonist is a woman. Although Chopin wrote other short stories that were considered controversial none of them received as much criticism as The Awakening. Set in the late nineteenth century the story follows Edna Portellier who has been awakened to her own desires and even though she has a husband and children she decides to pursue those yearnings.
The role of a woman in society has always fit into a perfect box. Women were expected to be the dutiful wife, loving mother and housekeeper for her family. Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, in 1963 hoping to unveil the truth behind women’s thoughts about their role in society. Friedan exposed that things were not always, as they seemed for the average mother and homemaker in the 1950s and 1960s. Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening in the 1850’s which told the story of Edna Pontillier and her struggles as a housewife and finding her true identity.
In The Awakening the main women characters I focused on are Edna Pontellier, Adele Ratignolle, and Mademoiselle Reisz. I also made some notes about the lady in black and Mariequita. Edna is a twenty eight year old married woman with two children. Early on in the book it was apparent that she was unhappy with her marriage. Her husband accused her of neglecting their children and not being attentive enough with them.
In the story, The Awakening, the author; Kate Chopin writes about a woman named Edna Pontellier who is stuck in a time and a society that focuses on women having jobs of only being a wife and a good mother, nothing more nothing less; and in the meantime she is still trying to figure out her life and what she really wants. Kate chopin effectively ended the book the way she did to get her reader to question whether Edna has gained a victory or a loss of her struggle for independence. The plot at the end of the story is that Edna Pontellier kills herself by walking into the ocean and drowning herself. There are several big meanings behind the way in which the story ended the way it did.