Comparison between Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz
In order to help to get a point or idea across it is not uncommon to provide two stark contrasts to assist in conveying the point. Writers commonly use this technique in their writing especially when dealing with a story that concerns the evolution of a character. An example of such writing can be found in Kate Chopin's The Awakening. The novel deals with Edna Pontellier's "awakening" from the slumber of the stereotypical southern woman, as she discovers her own identity independent of her husband and children. In order to illustrate the woman that Edna can become in The Awakening, Chopin creates two opposing forces Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz for her best friends that not only contrast each other but also represent different genres of women in Creole society.
Adele Rataignolle serves as not only the epitome of the nineteenth-century woman but as Chopin's model of the perfect Creole "mother-woman". Adele's gold spun hair, sapphire blue eyes, and crimson lips made her strikingly beautiful even though she was beginning to grow a bit stout. A devoted wife and mother Adele idolizes her children and worships her husband. Her days are spent caring for her children, performing household duties, and ensuring the happiness of her husband. Even while vacationing at Grand Isle over the summer she thinks about her children and begins work on creation their winter garments. As a matter of fact since her marriage Adele has had a baby every two years. To Adele mothering comes easily and never seems to drain her energy. Adele is comfortable and thoroughly happy with her simple, conformist existence.
A foil for Adele Ratignolle, Mademoiselle Reisz serves as a living example of an entirely self-sufficient woman, who is ruled by her art and her passions, rather than by the expectations of society. A small homely woman, unmarried and childless, Mademoiselle Reisz is a talented pianist and somewhat of a recluse. She represents the anti-mother along independence and freedom. The first time she is introduced in the novel she is introduced as being “eccentric and quarrelsome”, from that we are...