Feminist Perspective Essay

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Feminist Perspective in “The Awakening” In The Awakening, Chopin describes how the perfect man or woman should look according to society. The Awakening was published in 1899 which “aroused a storm of controversy for its then unprecedented treatment of female independence and sexuality, and for its unromantic portrayal of marriage.” (Chopin, 1899, Note) Women were expected to be obedient housewives and a doting mother to their children. The statement; “If it was not a women’s place to look after children, who’s on earth was it?” (Chopin, 1899, chap 3) denotes what the woman’s responsibilities are in a marriage. Chopin uses the characters: Edna, Leonce, Madame Ratignolle and Robert Lebrun to show how marriage, independence, equal rights and…show more content…
In this era women were dedicated to their children and husband, however Edna defies the norms of society when she doesn’t obey these rules. Edna is fascinated by the beauty and mothering portrayed by Madame Ratignolle and forms a bond with her in the summer at Grand Isle. “Madame Ratignolle was very fond of Mrs. Pontellier and often she took her sewing and went over to sit with her in the afternoons.” (Chopin, 1899, chap 4) “Mrs. Pontellier liked to sit and gaze at her fair companion as she might look upon a faultless Madonna.” (Chopin, 1899, chap 5) Madame Ratignolle was the perfect Creole woman and Edna looked to her for guidance. Madame Ratignolle is an example of an acceptable woman in this time period. However Edna realizes she is not like the other Creole women and searches within herself for independence. As a woman in the late 1800’s early 1900’s life had many challenges, especially for those who seek independence. It was unlikely for a woman to neither voice her opinions if she were unhappy in a marriage nor choose who to marry. In The Awakening, Edna’s father
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