Essay on the Characters in The Awakening

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Importance of the Characters in The Awakening

The Awakening was a very exciting and motivating story. It contains some of the key motivational themes that launched the women’s movement. It was incredible to see how women were not only oppressed, but how they had become so accustomed to it, that they were nearly oblivious to the oppression. The one woman, Edna Pontellier, who dared to have her own feelings was looked upon as being mentally ill. The pressure was so great, that in the end, the only way that she felt she could be truly free was to take her own life. In this paper I am going to concentrate on the characters central in Edna’s life and her relationships with them.

Leonce Pontellier, the character portraying Edna’s
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Indeed Mrs. Pontellier is the sole object of his existence when it is convenient for him.

We further notice Mr. Pontelllier’s traditional thinking in Chapter three, when he notifies Edna that one of their sons is suffering with a high fever. When she doesn’t instantly jump up and run to check on her son (whom she is quite sure did not have a fever), he accuses her of being neglectful and notifies her that it was her place to look after the children. This scene is where we first take notice of Mrs. Pontellier’s dissatisfaction with her marriage and perhaps her life.

In direct contrast with Edna was her friend, Adele Ratignolle. As Mr. Pontellier states in chapter four, Adele was the embodiment of every womanly grace and charm. Mrs. Ratignolle was the queen or ideal mother-woman. This separates Edna and Adele throughout the story. While they are good friends, it is obvious that they think and feel very different when it comes to marriage, children and their place in society. It is also quite apparent that Adele is disapproving of Edna’s lifestyle. Adele Ratignolle seems to be completely oblivious to the oppression of women. She often attempts to serve as a conscious for Edna, constantly reminding her to think of her children and emphasizing how certain behaviors may appear to others. She even goes so far as to tell Edna that her husband will not allow her to visit Edna anymore if Edna does not
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