Society's Restrictive Roles For Women Exposed In The Awakening

1332 words - 5 pages

In the late 1800's, as well as the early 1900's, women felt discriminated against by men and by society in general. Men generally held discriminatory and stereotypical views of women. Women had no control over themselves and were perceived to be nothing more than property to men. They were expected to live up to a perfect image that society had created, while trying to comply with their husbands' desires. While many women felt dissatisfied with their lives, they would not come out and say it. However, in 1899, Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening, which showed women that they were not alone. This novel showed the discriminatory views and treatment towards women. It also distinctly indicates the dissatisfaction that women felt in their lives. Because of the roles that society has given them, women are not able to seek and fulfill their own psychological and sexual drives. In The Awakening, Chopin uses Edna Pontellier to show that women do not want to be restricted by the roles that society has placed on them.

Because of the time she lived in, Edna felt oppressed just because she was a woman. Being a married woman and a mother made her feel even more tied down. By looking at the relationship between Edna and her husband, Leonce, we see that men treated women as if they were nothing more than possessions or property. They had no respect for their wives, mothers, or even their daughters as they constantly treated them like housemaids who were there to answer to their every call. Even Edna's father thinks that his daughter is her husband's property. We see this when he says "You are far too lenient, too lenient by far, Leonce. Authority, coercion are what is needed. Put your foot down good and hard; the only way to manage a wife" (Chopin 663). This is her own father telling her husband that he needs to be tougher on her. Chopin is clearly showing the inequality of women here. Nowadays, you would never find a father telling his son-in-law to be harder on his daughter. This was something that Edna would not accept. Chopin cleverly adds that it was this same treatment from her father that killed her mother. "The colonel was perhaps unaware he had coerced his own wife into her grave" (Chopin 663).

"She would, through habit, have yielded to his desire; not with any sense of submission or obedience to his compelling wishes, but unthinkingly, as we…go through the daily treadmill of life which has been portioned out to us" (Chopin 631). This best indicates how routine everything had become for women, and how entrapped they must have felt to be stuck in this daily routine. "It is worth noting that Edna does not face any explicit oppresion. She is merely expected to run the house, care for the children and do her best to please her husband. Nevertheless, she finds the role unbearable. She cannot give her life, her identity to others. It is better to die" (Aull). However, this almost methodical way of life affected Edna...

Find Another Essay On Society's Restrictive Roles for Women Exposed in The Awakening

Women roles changed for the better

1412 words - 6 pages more independent and autonomous after the war. Overall, it was the hard work and determination by women in ww1 that changed their traditional roles for the many years to come. Now, with women's past in mind, what heights will they take humanity to in the future?

Chaucer's View of Women Exposed in The Canterbury Tales

737 words - 3 pages . In the author's time, much of the literature was devoted to validating the frailties of women. However, in this story, the Wife is a woman who has outlived four of five husbands for “of five housbodes scoleying” (P50) is she. She holds not her tongue, and says exactly what she thinks, even if she contradicts others, even Jesus. For in the Bible it states that Jesus “Spak in repreve of the Samaritan:/‘Thou hast yhad five housbondes,' quod he

The Roles of Women in Ancient Greece and the Reasons for their Subordination

1024 words - 4 pages The Roles of Women in Ancient Greece and the Reasons for their Subordination Women in Greece were treated very differently from the men, they were thought of as less and weak men. The men controlled the lives of the women and made sure the women felt this way and knew their place. “Married women in Greece had three main jobs raise their children for the sake of Athens, show no weakness than was natural to their sex and avoid gossip.”(J. Coffin

The Roles of Women in Different Societies

1298 words - 5 pages Women have been suffering discrimination in societies for years. They are considered inferior to men. In two different societies women’s have different roles, in Buddhist societies women are thought o have evolved socially than in Brahmanic societies . Women lead very different lives in Brahmanic and Buddhist societies. Buddhism was created by Buddha(565–485 BCE). The Buddha wanted equality. Instead of trying to overcome the strict caste system

Changes in the Roles of Women

967 words - 4 pages The roles of women changed drastically between 1950’s and 1970’s due to the political, economic, and social issues, but women’s lives also stayed close to the way they had always been. The lives of women changed in a plethora of ways throughout the years. “We believe that women can achieve such equality only by accepting to full the challenges and responsibilities they share with all other people in our society, as part of the decision-making

The Diverse Roles of Women in Movies

874 words - 3 pages that either play a major role or the main role. All their roles are very different in character and none of the women in these three movies play a similar role. In the movie Heartbreakers the two main women are Jennifer Love Hewitt (the daughter) and Sigourney Weaver (the mother). These two women act as “manipulators or conartists” the whole time. The whole point of the movie is for them to make different men (of age and class) to believe

Nineteenth Century Gender Roles Exposed in The Necklace and The Story of an Hour

2968 words - 12 pages along way for equal rights but but there are still differences in gender roles in all societies in the year 2011.Women are allowed to vote ,drive and have a choice to work or take care of the household. Women are paid lower than men. In the Encyclopedia of Feminism" it states that , "The belief in a uniquely feminine essence, existing above and beyond cultural conditioning...the mirror image of biologism which for centuries justified the

Seminar for The Awakening

1656 words - 7 pages a girl, little ‘ol me”. This parallels to Edna and her relationship with her husband. In the modern world she lives in she is expected to hold his hand and follow his rules for she is just a girl. In The Awakening Edna realizes that is the sociality she lives in and follows but does not like it. In the second stanza of the song it says, “Oh...I’ve had it up to here! / The moment that I step outside / So many reasons/ For me to run and hide

Direct Combat Roles for Women

2662 words - 11 pages cultural beliefs change so does what we except as social norms. Both sides of this argument bring many reasons for and against allowing women to participate in direct combat. Taking into account both views of this controversy it will show, that not only a social change has occurred, but the dynamics of the battlefield has in fact already placed female service members into direct combat. Section II: Opposition to Direct Combat Roles for Women Social

The Oppression of Women Exposed in The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1287 words - 5 pages your child. In this action the narrator is further forced into a childlike role. Jennie takes away the narrator’s most emotionally laden job, as her “illness” might harm the child. When looked at in respect towards society’s expectations of women and their roles, the narrator has been stripped of everything that makes her a wife and a mother. She unable pick up her baby up when he is crying and offer nurture. Everything that previously defined

Edna Pontellier’s Search for Independence in Chopin's The Awakening

2692 words - 11 pages Louisiana women the narrator of The Awakening describes as women "who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels" (473).  Hart points out that Edna wants to stand on her own (1).  For example, in The Awakening, Edna states, she would "give up the unessential...[money and her life] for [her] children, but not [herself]" (504). Edna has affairs

Similar Essays

Restrictive Societal Roles Of Women Essay

1701 words - 7 pages Henrik Ibsen once said, “The strongest man in the world is the one who stands above it.” Most notably it has been clear that women have been considered to be the inferior race in a male dominated society due to the male obsession to hold a powerful and respectful position in the social ladder. For many advocates of the humanism theory this common way of thought was considered to be a violation of what was believed to be an evolutionary

Identity And Society's Expectations In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

584 words - 2 pages In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Edna Pontellier’s suicide is an assertion of her independence and contributes to Chopin’s message that to be independent one must choose between personal desires and societal expectations. Chopin conveys this message through Edna’s reasons for committing suicide and how doing so leads her to total independence. Unlike the other women of Victorian society, Edna is unwilling to suppress her personal identity and

Women In The Awakening Kate Chopin

1722 words - 7 pages Women in The AwakeningKate Chopin's The Awakening illustrates the many aspects of Creole life. Creole women have certain duties and responsibilities that they must carry out. Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle share different views about the role of women in Creole society. Adele believes that women should be subservient to their husbands and fulfill their motherly duties. She believes that "a woman who would give her life for her children

Imprisonment Of Women Exposed In The Yellow Wallpaper

1442 words - 6 pages illuminating short story, Gilman's story cannot be coined merely a tale of insanity. Insanity is the vehicle for Gilman's larger comment on the atrocities of social conformity. The main character of "The Yellow Wallpaper" comes to recognize the inhumanity in society's treatment of women, and in her awakening to this, visualizes her torment in the faded yellow wallpaper that hangs in her chambers, her jail. The unnamed narrator of the tale is