Their relationship is unresolved at the end of the novel; nothing has actually and has to be reminded by Adele Ratignolle of her responsibilities. This is only a problem in New Orleans, when people and the culture of the. She was moved by a kind of commiseration for Madame Ratignolle” (Chopin 63). to her relationship with Adele, Edna has experienced a sexual awakening. hand, Edna's female relationships with Adéle Ratignolle and Mlle. Reisz, and on the . debated problems of the male-dominate society in general and on women's roles in particular. (Toth .. Seyersted points out that “as Mrs. Pontellier.
The characters of Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz represent what society views as the suitable and unsuitable woman figures. Mademoiselle Ratignolle as the ideal Grand Isle woman, a home-loving mother and a good wife, and Mademoiselle Reisz as the old, unmarried, childless, musician who devoted her life to music, rather than a man.Edna Du Broy and the Empowering Relationships Seminar
Kate Chopin carefully, though subtly, establishes that Edna does not neglect her children, but only her mother-woman image. Pontellier was not a mother-woman. Edna tries on one occasion to explain to Adele how she feels about her children and how she feels about herself, which greatly differs from the mother-woman image.
Although Edna loves her children she does not confuse her own life with theirs. Edna never adhered to the societies definition, even at the beginning of the novel. Pontellier was the best husband in the world. That she married him not because there are none better, but because there are also none worse. By moving to her own residence, Edna takes a colossal step towards autonomy, a direct violation of the mother-woman image.
Edna's Relationships in Kate Chopin's The Awakening - SchoolWorkHelper
Throughout The Awakening, Edna increasingly distances herself from the image of the mother-woman, until her suicide, which serves as the total opposite of the mother-woman image. As she begins to swim out to sea, she ponders the reliance that her children expressed towards her. Although she loves her children, she loves herself more, and cannot see a way out of her own predicament, other than inevitable death. Robert has abandoned her, and with that, any chance she had to start a new life away from New Orleans: By committing suicide Edna is quite literally sacrificing herself, but she makes the conscious decision to do it herself.
Enough individual autonomy remains that she is able to choose her fate, rather than having it chosen for her by her family, or by society. The island represents freedom from the traditional social norms that Edna finds so suffocating when she returns to New Orleans.
If the map below is zoomed in it is possible to see the specific streets within the French Quarter, and where the main characters reside.
Edna’s Relationships in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
I have given a key underneath so that it is possible to differentiate each point. The French Quarter is quite small and close-knit and most of the addresses that Edna visits in the novel are within walking distance of her house on Esplanade. However, on a couple of occasions Edna takes a streetcar to reach the edges of the suburb.
That kind of society also appeared to listen to gossip and speculation, as seen when Edna involves herself with Alcee Arobin. Whenever Edna feels unhappy in her home on Esplanade Street, she seeks out Mme.
Although Edna does not fully understand what Mme. Reisz means by this, it is clear that Edna is undergoing a personal conflict that centers on society.
This is only a problem in New Orleans, when people and the culture of the city dictate how things should be done, and how people should behave.
Edna is forced to rebel. As an island, Grand Isle is important because it signifies the loneliness and isolation that Edna feels, despite being surrounded by family and friends.
It is a physical, strengthening act that she achieves and rejoices in. When Edna returns to New Orleans after several weeks she begins to quietly rebel against her former life. Instead of playing the hostess and receiving callers she decides to go out.
There is a general sense of lethargy and discomfort that escalates as the novel moves on, and her personal crisis remains unresolved. Edna begins to venture beyond the French Quarter: Robert was the person who helped in a way to achieve this. Edna feels that Robert clearly does not love her enough to risk everything, society etc, and thus Edna realizes that she is truly alone. She no longer believes herself to be tied to Leonce, or remain a part of his property.
This idea shocks Robert, who has not achieved this same sense of enlightenment, and cannot see beyond the rules that their society enforces.