Edna Pontellier And Elizabeth Bennet: Challenge Of 19th Century Conventional Methods

2735 words - 11 pages

Kate Chopin and Jane Austen could readily be referred to as literary heroines of the nineteenth century. Both women often challenged conventional societal methods within their works, which inherently caused these literary geniuses to write in complete secrecy. Chopin and Austen gave birth to characters such as Edna Pontellier in The Awakening, and Elizabeth Bennett, the renowned protagonist of Austen’s novella Pride and Prejudice. While noble in their respective ways one can easily mistake Edna and Elizabeth to be selfish creatures of society because of their ardent pursuit of happiness and love, and their disregard of nineteenth century societal constructs and family expectations. In ...view middle of the document...

Edna is a woman who we see early on doesn’t idolize her husband Leonce. This could result from the fact that Edna feels Leonce inherently views her as property, and we see this when Leonce scolds Edna for being sunburned, “you are burned beyond recognition (p.31).” Chopin re-affirms this notion by stating that Leonce “looked at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage (p.31)”. After adhering to Leonces concern of her burned skin, Edna takes time to reflect not on her wedding rings that her husband has just returned to her but her amusing and joyous time she has just spent with Robert in the water. This ensures the reader that Edna is not focused on her marriage but inherently on Robert who is seen as Edna’s initial perception that she is in some way different from her old self. Aside from Edna’s blatant infatuation with Robert who she encounters during the summer at Grand Isle, she later in the novel confirms her disdain for her not only her marriage but all marriages by stating, “a marriage is one of the most lamentable spectacles on earth” (Wolff 450). We see that Edna married Leonce not for love, but because she views Leonce as a great man and someone who is infatuated with her. Inevitably Leonces dullness and even callousness toward Edna does not outweigh her new found need for reaffirmation as a woman. Cynthia Griffin Wolff states this mere fact in her critical analysis Thanatos and Eros: Kate Chopin's the Awakening:
The marriage to such a man as Leonce was, then, a defensive maneuver designed to maintain the integrity of the two "selves" that formed her character and to reinforce the distance between them. Her outer self was confirmed by the entirely conventional marriage while her inner self was safe-known only to Edna. An intuitive man, a sensitive husband, might threaten it; a husband who evoked passion from her might lure the hidden self into the open, tempting Edna to attach her emotions to flesh and blood rather than phantoms. Leonce is neither, and their union ensures the secret safety of Edna's "real" self.
In the novel Edna ultimately relinquishes her duties as a mother and a wife. One would say not only her encounter with Robert Grande Isle, but a swim that she took in the ocean in which she perceived herself to have “swam further than any woman had swam before”(p.57) was the ultimate initiation to her awakening, self-discovery, and courage to challenge the conventional methods of society. Edna eventually moves into her own home away from her husband, and passes the responsibility of taking care of her children to their grandmother. She has relinquished her status in society and also her attachment to her husband’s wealth. She believes that she can successfully survive with the money she will make off selling her artwork. Edna realizes that she has succeeded at her new found freedom and has broken the chains of her oppressive role as a wife when “Leonce decides to leave her...

Other Essays Like Edna Pontellier And Elizabeth Bennet: Challenge Of 19th Century Conventional Methods

19th Century History of Chinese in Cali

2061 words - 9 pages Nineteenth Century History of Chinese in California The very first immigrants to migrate from china to the united states of America were mainly from the Guangdong province in the South eastern areas of china, most came to sought out ways to make money to send home for their families and hopefully strike it rich to go back to their mainland wealthy. During eighteen forty-nine the opium war against the British has finally resolved after a

19th Century European Imperialism Data Based Essay; Identify And Explain The Political, Economic, And Social Causes Of European Imperialism In The 19th Century

3260 words - 14 pages separate experts' groups meetings on nuclear and conventional CBMs which were scheduled to be held in Islamabad and both the countries expressed their satisfaction on this new and important development in the relations of these two countries.8SURVEY:Survey was randomly conducted including university students and working class particularly less or uneducated persons, including tailors, drivers, shopkeepers. The responses of the educated and


1014 words - 5 pages EXISTENTIALISM AND THE DECLINE OF RELIGION AT THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY During the 19th century, several ideas were developed about the decreasing power of religion and the meaning of life. These ideas were supported or rejected through numerous writings. Herman Melville's Billy Budd embraces God and the morals of Christianity while Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger reflects and supports the ideas of existentialism and a decline in religion in

Architecture Of Kirkbride Buildings; Lunatic Asylums In The 19th Century

992 words - 4 pages human rights under the philosophy of Moral Treatment. She wanted to have rights for the “insane”. Her efforts led to the construction of the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum. This was the first asylum built on the Kirkbride Plan. Moral treatment was based on humane psychosocial care or moral discipline. It emerged as an approach in the 18th century and was primarily used during the 19th century. Moral treatment was focused on social welfare

La Japonaise and Rue Du Caire: the Artistic Colonialism in the Late 19th Century France

3671 words - 15 pages Jo (Shihui) Wang La Japonaise and Rue du Caire: The Artistic Colonialism in the late 19th century France The second half of the 19th century was a time of unprecedented changes in European society. Commerce developed with the Industrial Revolution; technological innovations produced an increasingly material world; and colonial empires expanded tremendously into various

United States Foreign Policy in the End of the 19th Century

720 words - 3 pages This nation, from its inception had a lust for real estate. From the original chants of "manifest destiny" to the calls for the annexation of Indian territories our nation has been driven to acquire land. In this country's youth land was needed for economic expansion. However, by the end of the 19th century the entire continental United States was in our possession and the citizenry of this country turned their eyes out to sea

Development and Evaluation of a Novel Contrast Medium Suitable for Conventional Enteroclysis, Mr Enteroclysis and Virtual Mr Enteroscopy

1201 words - 5 pages for lumen opacification. In the present study different gadolinium concentrations within a 20% BaSO4 water solution were tested. The aim was to develop and evaluate a suitable contrast agent for conventional enteroclysis (CE), magnetic resonance enteroclysis (MRE) and virtual MR enteroscopy (VMRE). The use of the above contrast agent allows the performance of both examinations in the same session. Materials and methods Phantom Study

How Do Both Poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ‘Sonnet 29’ and Thomas Hardy’s ‘the Voice’, Convey the Tone of Loss?

1225 words - 5 pages How do both poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s ‘Sonnet 29’ and Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Voice’, convey the tone of loss? In ‘Sonnet 29’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay, loss is a strong underlying theme, referred to generously throughout the poem. This poem has the form of a Shakespearian sonnet which is thought to have meant to challenge her readers’ preconceptions about life. The first ovctave has strong themes of the loss of love while in the last

Sexual Revolution And Methods Of Contraception

1989 words - 8 pages Sexual Revolution and Methods of Contraception Birth Control and Contraceptives The sexual revolution introduced a whole new idea of controlled births and the use of different forms of birth control. Contraceptives have been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians, but the sexual revolution introduced a whole new form and more efficient way to prevent conception of a child. The use of contraceptives helped control the spread of

Effects and Methods of Municipal Campaign Financing

747 words - 3 pages Effects and Methods of Municipal Campaign Financing, 2004 Mayor Bronconnier (Calgary) and Alderman Hawkesworth (Ward 4) Through donations from individuals, corporations, and institutions, politicians fund their campaigns. Generally, the larger amount of money a candidate has to spend on his or her campaign, the better the chance that the candidate will end up elected in municipal office. Regime theory states that there is co-operation

Curriculum And Methods Of Early Childhood Educations

1901 words - 8 pages Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1998). One of the major features of direct instruction is careful planning. This is carefully crafting the sequence of learning and tasks, practice and logical form of teacher-student communication. One should also teach with a variety of methods to encompass great diversity of the children. One should also teach them social competence to help them advance their language

Related Papers

Comparison Of Main Female Characters(Jane, Edna Pontellier, And Louise Mallard) From The Novels Written By , The Awakening, The Yellow Wallpaper And The Story Of An Hour

414 words - 2 pages The narrator (Jane) of The Yellow Wallpaper and the character Edna Pontellier from The Awakening and Louise Mallard of The Story of an Hour are equally trapped within the boundaries of male domination. These boundaries come from their husbands, whom will not allow them to right to express themselves as individuals. They are to be "the wives" and nothing more. Not content with the situation, these women try to break away from the stereotype.Edna

Puritanism And The 19th Century American Novels

1671 words - 7 pages hazardous journey, later “cast away the fragments of a broken chain” and pronounces that “the world’s law was no law for her mind.” Similarly Melville’s character in Moby Dick, Ishmael, who begins with an intolerant Puritan mindset, shuns away the manacles of narrow-minded Puritan subjectivity after coming into close proximity with Queequegg, a savage. Hawthorne, in trying to understand his own situation in 19th century is, through The Scarlet

Major Barbara: Social Conditions Of 19th Century

2411 words - 10 pages thing. What makes them think of that is his occupation as a gunpowder merchant. They think that was not correct to support the world in making war. Gunpowder, on the other hand, is considered very modern in terms of warfare forces. Historically, 19th century was the era of industrialization and also the era of militarization. This indicates that through this play Shaw indirectly has shown us or given us, as modern audiences, the historical fact

Role Of Women In 19th Century Europe

752 words - 4 pages their economic stability and opportunities. This was primary reason for the rise of early actions of feminism. -------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. Wojtczak, Helena . "WOMEN'S STATUS IN MID 19TH-CENTURY ENGLAND." WOMEN'S STATUS IN MID 19TH-CENTURY ENGLAND. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. . [ 2 ]. ibid. [ 3 ]. ibid. [ 4 ]. McKay, John P.. "Life in the Emerging Urban Society." Understanding Western Society: a BRIEF HISTORY. Boston: BEDFORD/ST. MARTIN'S, 2011-2012. 690. Print