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The Awakening By Kate Chopin Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

Kate Chopin was a feminist, and it has been said that "She told directly-and without moral judgment- how certain women are beginning to challenge the male dominant culture that limited all aspects of women's lives- even the lives of the comfortable situated women-- and tried to control their psyches as well" ("Chopin" 550). Chopin stays true to her beliefs in her writing. The story, The Awakening, is set in the late 1800's, the book was actually completed in January of 1898, when the typical roles of men and women were expected to be of a certain set caliber, and it was not common for anyone to deviate from the path that was set before them. In The Awakening, as well as some of her ...view middle of the document...

Adele would lay down her life and every aspect of it for her husband and her children. She is often sewing, and making clothes for her children. She is always very tentative toward every aspect of her female life. She is a very hands on mother, and is never far from where her children are. Adele is beautiful, and charismatic, and all these facts about Adele draw Edna into the friendship with Adele
The opposite in almost every aspect of Adele is true for Edna. While she does love her children Kate Chopin describes her, "In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman" (567). She said that she would not sacrifice herself for her husband or her children. She has no ill feelings knowing that her children spend more time in the care of the quadroon nurse than with her. She is relieved when her children get to spend time away from her. She does not sew, and is very poor at doing housework. She is defiantly not in any way submissive to her husband or anyone else. She is not the "perfect" wife and mother at any point, weather it was before she had her major "awakening" ,during, or after. By showing the difference in the two women and their personalities Chopin portrays the perfect examples of sexism in the way that Adele acts towards her family and Edna doesn't.
Edna Pontellier starts the story in a struggle within herself to the ideal roles that are expected of her. She knows that she is not the motherly type, but tries to do things to make her life easier with her husband. Edna struggles with guilt knowing that she is not the ideal mother and wife. Everyone tells her how lucky she is to have Leonce, with all the elaborate, and thoughtful gifts that he sends her. She feels that she should feel as lucky as everyone feels she is. Tracy Caldwell comments, "Perhaps if Edna were able to reconcile those two sides of herself, she may have been more successful in life" (Sec. 7). She is treated like a piece of property by her rich husband. He tells her "You are burnt beyond recognition, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage" (Chopin...

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