Being A Mother Woman And An Ideal Wife

Decent Essays
Being a good mother and an ideal wife is important in The Awakening because when this book takes place thats what is expected of women. Edna is the opposite of the ideal mother and wife. She does many things that would be frowned upon in the late nineteenth century. Throughout the novel Edna is seen fighting societal standards. She struggles to have an identity of her own instead of being known as Leonce Pontellier’s wife and Raul and Etienne Pontellier’s mother. In the end Edna chooses to end her life instead of being defined by men for the rest of her life. In the beginning it seems like Edna feels compelled to abide by the societal standards. Even though she is described as “not a mother woman” (Chopin 9). Edna grew up thinking that her life would fall into place after getting married, after having children, after getting settled in life. After each milestone Edna found herself in the same spot. No matter what she did, she did not find what she was looking for. After a point she discovers that this life isn’t the life she wants. She sets out to find a new life for herself. Through Chopin’s focus on two other female characters, Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, Edna’s options of life paths are shown. These women are the examples that the people around Edna compare her with and from whom they obtain their expectations for her. Edna, however, finds both role models lacking and begins to see that the life of freedom and individuality that she wants goes against both
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