The Awakening Study Guide

9992 Words Jan 11th, 2012 40 Pages
The Awakening Study Guide

1. Explain how the parrot and the mockingbird are used to introduce this chapter.
They provide disruptive sound images. The parrot is saying, “Go away! Go away! For Heaven’s sake!” The mockingbird whistles with “maddening persistence.”
2. Describe Léonce Pontellier.
He appears to be a successful New Orleans businessman. He is neat and orderly in appearance and has an impatient manner. He and his wife, Edna, and their two children are vacationing at Grand Isle for the summer.
3. What does the following quotation tell you about Léonce’s attitude toward his wife? He looked “at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage.”
He considers her as property,
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The gifts look good and taste good, but they are trivial and quickly gone. Most marriages at this time, like the Pontelliers’, look good on the outside but do not necessarily have much depth or substance.

1. Describe the unusual nature of the relationship between Edna and her children.
There is no outward display of affection. She “was not a mother/woman.” The children take care of themselves with some help from a nurse.
2. What satiric comment does the narrator make concerning “mother-woman”? Cite specific words that reveal the satiric nature of these comments.
“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 also uses words such as fluttering, protecting, and precious brood.
3. Who is Adéle Ratignolle, and how is she the embodiment of the “mother-woman”?
She is an acquaintance of Edna’s; they spend time together sewing and visiting. She is the antithesis of Edna: she is openly affectionate with her children, lavishing both her children and her husband with total love. She has three children and is planning for a fourth.
4. How does the fact that Edna is not a Creole affect her relationship with others on Grand Isle?
She feels set apart from the “one large family” of Creoles on Grand Isle that summer. She feels uncomfortable when they openly discuss and

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