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. For these three identities, Edna often struggling in the dilemma, but then, her aspirations on physical or mental are lacking. It can be regard as she is not satisfied with current situation, and, to seek the …show more content…
Adele is a “mother-woman” entirely, concentrates on domesticity, cares and praises her husband and child, and interested in everything related to her family, any individual ideality is not a public intention. Once a time, Adele is playing the piano in front of the guests who came to her party. Edna just realized that what Adele plays cannot touch her deeply, but just a performance without soul, in order to her children and seems as the ability that a housewife should possess, to please the guests and show the cleaver and wise. In the deep of Edna, to being a full-time home worker is not her will and not the individual ideals she seeking for. When Edna and Adele with their families went to Grand Isle, sometimes, Edna will put herself into their children completely or forget them. Moreover, when her children tumbled, she will not pick them up just let them get up on their own. In contrast to Adele, Edna is not contributing herself to her family as well as Adele. Edna tries to fit in as the role to be a good mother, but, she cannot definitely, to be a mother-woman cannot fulfill her eagerness to be a special, independent and egocentric person. In Chapter XVI, Edna said to Adele, she would give her money and her life to children, but never herself. And that is what she is trying to understand and recognize. It …show more content…
Mother and wife are also not her will; she feels restrained and loses her liberty of being that. After she heard the playing from Adele, she feels the solitude and loneliness, it seems same as her position in this era, no one understands her and feels depress toward the people, the family she encountered. On the contrary, she is touched after hearing the pianist Mademoiselle Reisz plays. It is full of power and passion, and Mademoiselle is a woman that she wants to be, independent with alternative performance in this society, she is separated and not the one of them. Edna wants to know more about her and try to be like her, but the most essential element that a independent artist should has is bravery, this is what the pianist told Edna. The other reason makes Edna realize her own self is swimming, as if a release to her. Refer to what she said in the novel, to beyond other women, it can express that her aspiration on being alternative and get rid of the constraint from the society. Also that is the first body contact with Robert, she find herself in the ocean, and there is the place she longing, also aware of the freedom. Robert, is a boy she falls in love with, yet she aware of that, if she marries to Robert, her future just same as now, she will lose her freedom.
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Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, which were two close friends of Edna, greatly contributed to Edna’s transformation. Edna gained her newfound freedom of expression from Adele and her Creole culture. Adele’s outspokenness and willingness to share affection was a shock to Edna, but time at Grand Isle relaxed the “mantle of reserve that had enveloped her” (Chopin, 14). Adele openly discussed topics that society deems private; thus, Edna found herself opening up and speaking her mind.
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.
The novel “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin is about Edna Pontellier, a wealthy housewife living in Louisiana during the late nineteenth century, and her journey of self-liberation. Edna Pontellier feels unfulfilled with her marriage to Leonce Pontellier, and her role as a mother. Edna meets, and falls in love with Robert Lebrun over the summer while her family is vacationing at a resort in Grand Isle. After the summer ends, and Edna returns home to New Orleans, she begins making lifestyle changes in order to bring back the feeling of happiness that she felt with Robert while in Grand Isle. Edna Pontellier experiments by having an affair, and attempts to live as an artist by taking up painting.
Edna’s relationship with Robert is clearly what ignited Edna’s decisions to deviate from societal norms, not that Edna’s thoughts and ideologies truly belong nor morphed with her peers for her time. In the final section of The Awakening, Edna had several significant decisions that ultimately determined that she would not be controlled by societal expectations. I appeared to me, that chapter XXIII seemed to be the heaviest chapter for Edna’s mental and emotional changes. Edna in this chapter diverts more and more from the idealistic societal expectations associated with being a mother and wife. Edna becomes extremely relatable in terms of human frustration to readers, she is frustrated with Adele’s unwillingness to accept her passion for art
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.
Edna Pontellier and I are “hewn from the same crooked timber”, as we are both products of a flawed society (symbolized by the timber) where the pressure to fulfill our own expectations means we defy the expectations of others around us. Within The Awakening, there are many instances where Edna is held to the expectations of being “a perfect mother”, such as those placed by Mr. Pontellier as to how a mother should take care of her children. However, Edna wants to be more than just a mother. She wants to become an artist. When Edna befriends Mademoiselle Reisz, the latter highlights the audacious nature that Edna should embody in order for her to pursue painting.
Adele has her sewing and Madame Reisz has her piano playing. One day, Edna agrees to go swimming with Robert. This experience awakens something inside her. She realizes swimming in the sea is some kind of escape for her. She can forget about all her responsibilities as a wife and a mother for a little while and just focus on herself.
A wonderful mother, Adele also tends to her husband’s every need. Furthermore, she seems to enjoy this role, apparently thriving in it. Her friend Edna starts off like Adele but then realizes the role is drowning her. Edna and Adele are different people who, though dealt the same cards in life,
She wasn’t wife nor mother material, and as she became conscious of it through the development of the novel, Edna isolated herself so she could be awaken. “I could only see the stretch of grass before me, and I feel as if I must walk on forever, without coming to the end of it” (Chopin 19). Edna is beginning to see her role as a wife and mother as eternal and inescapable. So, at the birth of Adele’s child, she starts to find it quite frightening because at this point Edna is reminded to stay dedicated and devoted to her children. Etienne and Raoul imprisoned her body, they were preventing her from taking her own path and also chained misery to 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.
Her frequent vacations to the island, like her frequent dips into the ocean, begin to spark a personal change within the woman. A Creole man, Robert, shows Edna a new dimension of feelings she never knew she lived without, and she begins to look through life through a new lens. Having been awakened for the first time, she sees injustice and mistreatment where she saw none before. Chopin uses Edna’s new observations and reactions to the culture around her to illustrate the myriad ways women were marginalized. In an ironic twist, the white woman from Kentucky proves to be more liberated than her more traditional husband, who grew up
In addition, the search for self-identity is viewed as important in today’s society. Thus, these confliction attributes lead the reader to identify Edna as morally ambiguous. Categorizing complex characters as purely good or purely evil is not one of the easiest of tasks. As a result, it is best to characterize them as morally ambiguous. In Edna’s case, she is morally ambiguous due to her romantic affiliations and role-defying actions, but both are immensely vital to Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” as a complete whole.
In the 1800’s, the societal niche of married women was clearly defined: they were meant to devote every aspect of their lives to their husbands and children. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, struggles to adhere to these standards, and eventually rebels against them. The harsh standards placed on Edna and other women in the novel are like the cages around the metaphorical birds Chopin uses to represent them. Edna's unhappiness in her societal role is realized in the ocean, which symbolizes this awakening and her attempt to escape the gender roles of the nineteenth century.
Edna Pontillier in Kate Chopin’s novella The Awakening seeks independence and freedom via an unconventional lifestyle that creates her internal conflict. The conflict is sparked by the Apollonian and Dionysian ways of life that surround Edna. The two contrasting forces influence her decisions and the way she interacts with others. Edna’s Dionysian and Apollonian influences effect the way that she treats her children, interacts with her husband, and relates to other women in her town.
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.