Lindsey Allison. Mrs. Schroder. Ap Literature And Composition.

Decent Essays
Lindsey Allison
Mrs. Schroder
AP Literature and Composition
3 January 2016
Awakening Essay: 1987
Awakening, takes place in 1899, a period in history where traditional gender roles were especially prevalent. Traditionally, women were destined to be housewives. The life of a woman was centered around caring for her children and husband. The success of a woman was not determined by her occupation nor accomplishments, but instead was determined by the livelihood of her family. The protagonist of Awakening, Edna Pontellier, steps outside of the tradition established within New Orleans, as she embarked on her “awakening” in which she tries to find her identity and self- actualization. Throughout the novella, Kate Chopin clearly wished to change
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However, Edna admires Mademoiselle Reisz and longs to have the same adventurous and carefree lifestyle of her. The music and life of Mademoiselle inspires Edna. Each time Mademoiselle plays, Edna is moved and brought to tears but the freedom and passion of the music. The music aroused the very passions “within her soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves daily beat upon her splendid body (page 26).” Mademoiselle Reisz foils the type of person Edna aspires to be. After seeing the freedom within Mademoiselle Reisz, Edna feels empowered to make a change. The traditional standard of gender roles changes throughout the Novella. The first instance of this shift occurs once Edna meets Robert Leburn in Grand Isle. Edna and Robert’s relationship starts off friendly but soon shifts into a more passionate and intimate relationship. Throughout the summer, Edna begins to fall in love with Robert. Robert helps to fill the void left from Edna’s distance husband Leonce. Her marriage with Leonce is estranged, to the extent where Edna considers the marriage an “accidental marriage.” Leonce treats Edna as property and he spends most of his time traveling as part of work for his brokerage company. When Leonce is home, he prefers to go to the Klein Hotel to gamble instead of spending time with his wife and children. Leonce and Edna do not understand one another, as their relationship is more materialistic than passionate. A
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