Essay about Restrictions of Society in The Awakening

2019 Words9 Pages
Edna Pontellier’s Struggle for Freedom in The Awakening by Kate Chopin In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, the constant boundaries and restrictions placed on Edna Pontellier by society will lead to her struggle for freedom and her ultimate suicide. Her husband Leonce Pontellier, the current women of society, and the Grand Isle make it evident that Edna is trapped in a patriarchal society. Despite these people, Edna has a need to be free and she is able to escape from the society that she despises. The sea, Robert Lebrun, and Mademoiselle Reisz serve as Edna’s outlets from conformity. “Edna's journey for personal independence involves finding the words to express herself. She commits suicide rather than sacrificing her independent,…show more content…
Edna realizes that the patriarchal society is quick to condemn particularly a freedom-seeking woman who neglects her children since she is “intended by nature” to take care of them (Dyer 126). She is "uneven and impulsive" in her affections for her children. When they leave to visit their grandmother, she is relieved because she is not suited to the responsibilities of motherhood. Edna’s mind was at rest concerning the present material needs of her children: In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman…It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels (Chopin 6). The "mother-woman" role is an image that summarizes this idea of decorum. It is a behavioral code which bases a woman's identity on her capacity to bear children, look after them and worship the patriarch; it is a role based on the effacement and the extrication of each female individuality for the sake of the "mother-woman" raiment. “Adele Ratignolle is the premium example of the mother-woman. She embodies all the "womanly charms" of romantic heroines. In seven years, she has had three children and is planning on a fourth. Adele, represents the stages of a respectable
Open Document