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Literary Analysis The Awakening By Kate Chopin

948 words - 4 pages

What is an ideal woman? Does the ideal woman change by decades, centuries or millenniums? Yes, in the 19th century, a woman needed to have certain qualities in order to be considered "ideal". Although some of these qualities have changed over a period, some have remained the same. In the 19th century Creole society, a quality associated with the ideal woman, included being a "mother-woman". This trait characterized a home-loving, child-adoring, and husband-worshipping lady. The Creole society had set-beliefs about how a woman should conduct herself. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier, a non-native of the Creole community is depicted, as not embodying the ideal Creole woman, ...view middle of the document...

Oh think of the children! Remember them!" (182). However, Edna is going through a phase in her life, where it seems as if all she cares about is herself. Adele on the other hand, loves her familiy life, and tries to show Edna her own views on life with the hope that Edna can become closer to her family, however her trials are met with little success. In another scene, Adele tries to convince Robert, a friend of Edna's, to be careful of Edna's attitude on life. Adele says to Robert, "She is not like us, she is not one of us" (35). Although Adele's friendship often conflicts with Edna's goals, Adele's friendship is very influential because it shows Edna a side of motherhood and marriage that Edna is trying to avoid. Through Adele's friendship, Edna is able to make decisions more clearly about the goals she is trying to achieve.Her other friend, Mlle Reisz is depicted as a social outcast to the Creole society, but she too plays a big role in the development and awakening of Edna's individuality. Mlle Reisz is seen as "a disagreeable little woman, no longer younger, who had quarreled with almost everyone, owing to a temper which was self-assertive and a disposition to trample upon the rights of others" (43). Mlle Reisz plays a role model figure for Edna by continually criticizing and encouraging her to be herself. This is shown in the novel as Mlle Reisz advices Edna in the form of positive criticisms. An example of Mlle's positive criticism is in chapter Twenty-One, when Edna seeks encouragement and praise from Mlle Reisz; Mlle Reisz says to Edna, "To be...

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