Edna Pontellier's Role In The Awakening

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Kate Chopin is a well-known author from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this time in history, women were held to an exceptionally lower standard than men. Women were expected to do nothing more than simply be “behind the scenes.” Chopin herself was not a reflection of most women from this era, therefore most of the female characters she wrote about weren’t either. A perfect example of Chopin’s known challenges against society was the main character of her novel The Awakening, Edna Pontellier. Chopin uses Edna to emphasize her disagreement with the societal role of women during her time; she does so by describing the struggle for power between Edna and the people around her throughout the novel. Edna Pontellier is a seemingly unpleasable woman. She is only married to her husband, Leonce, because she was thrilled by the idea of defying her parents and doing so; at one point Edna even says a wedding is one of the most sad spectacles there is. As the book goes on, Edna gradually begins to reject the accepted rules of marriage or female behavior during her time. In this novel, Chopin is blatantly challenging the…show more content…
When Edna tells her husband she wishes to move out and live on her own, he completely remodels their house so that people won’t wonder why she isn’t living with him. It’s upsetting, as a woman, to read about a husband caring more about his social standing than his wife. Chopin also makes a great point to the audience when she reveals how broken Edna is after Robert, her love, moves away. This was important because it begged the question, does Edna have real feelings for Robert, or does she just want what she can’t have? It is impossible to tell, due to Edna’s constant mood swings, but it emphasizes just how unhappy she is with her current life as a mother and

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