The Effects Of Sleep On The Lives Of Women

1463 Words6 Pages
An insomniac constantly seeks methods in order to help them sleep because, in fact, sleep is very rejuvenating and refreshing in nature. That is, when one awakes, the benefits of sleep are evident in mental clarity and restfulness. But what if one is not allowed to awaken? Not being able to awaken is comparable to death. In a social context, this is what has occurred to women and, to some extent, still plagues female existence today. Historically, society has sought to hush women into a dormant and submissive state. Furthermore, it has oppressively attempted to constrain the lives of women to a slumbering status of naiveté and ignorance; not letting them awaken into consciousness. Consequently, their emotions are deadened and their…show more content…
At a time prior to the Women 's Rights Movement, the 19th century, Edna is comparable to a caged parrot. She, like most of the women of her time, was held in a cage of social constraint. She could not have opinions nor emotions, and therefore she could not fly. Moreover, she was considered a possession rather than a human companion by her husband— Mr. Pontillier. She was not an intelligent individual but rather she was expected to be like every other woman who “idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels.”( Page8). Accordingly, this religious description of women also emphasizes the social rejection of female sexuality. Society creates a mold that shames any sexual exploration among women. They are expected to remain naive and innocent. From the beginning of the novel, one can note that, although Edna is a woman of the 19th Century, she does not completely fit the standard mold of one. “She was rather handsome than beautiful” (pg 3) and “Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman.”(Pg 8). Even more curious is the fact that Edna reads. The knowledge obtained from reading challenges the societal dictation of female ignorance. Contrary to Edna, Madame Ratignolle, represents more of a typical women of her time. She simply enjoys sewing and not reading. Furthermore, Edna finds her analogous to a “faultless Madonna.”( Page 10), which
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