Test: The Awakening
Statement one: Kate Chopin selected the title of her novel for a reason.
Kate Chopin chose the title, The Awakening because that’s simply what it’s about. A woman named Edna Pontellier who “awakens”, or becomes empowered and more outgoing instead of being reserved. The title represents the awakening in Edna, with her becoming more social and more independent; less shy and her having more of a “sexual awareness” and her having more of a “voice” through out the novel. Edna learns to express herself through art. This occurs in Chapter IX, when Edna hears Mademoiselle Reisz perform on the piano. The previous music had called up images to her mind, the mademoiselle’s piano playing stirs her in a deeper way: “she saw no pictures of solitude, of hope, of longing, or of despair. But the very passions themselves were aroused within her soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves daily beat upon her splendid body.” As the music ceases to stir up images in Edna’s mind, it becomes for Edna a sort of call to something within herself. The art helps her to “awaken” more. So, in short, the title, represents Edna’s “awakening”. Her becoming more independent, her learning how to express herself, and most importantly, her finding her own voice.
Statement two: Robert Lebrun is an honorable man.
In the book, Robert attaches himself to Edna Pontellier during the summer and unexpectedly grows quite attached to her. But, knowing Edna’s marital status, he tries to distance himself by going to New Mexico; he tries to be honorable by not always reciprocating Edna’s advances. Robert writes a note saying, “I love you. Good-bye – because I love you,” and leaves Edna’s house. This shows that he loves Edna, but he doesn’t want to get involved because she’s already married to Leonce. He(Robert) is being honorable by not trying to advance anything on Edna.
Kate Chopin is an American writer, best known for her description of culture in New Orleans, Louisiana, and of women's struggles for freedom. Many of her works including The Awakening, were examples of local-color and helped establish Chopin as a contributor to Southern regional literature. The Awakening attracted a lot of negative criticism for its description of a woman's developing independence ...
Statement three: Leonce Pontellier deserves our pity and sympathy
Leonce does deserve our pity and sympathy because the only reason Edna married him is because her father and sister opposed it. Even though Leonce can be somewhat rude to her, he gives Edna everything; pretty much anything she wants. Leonce tries hard to keep Edna interested in him, but Edna just ignores him and goes on and does her own thing. One scene in the book these ladies are at Edna’s house and they declare Leonce the best husband in the world, and under pressure Edna admits “she knows of none better.” This shows that Leonce does deserve our pity and sympathy, he gives Edna everything and she’s just like, “whatever. I don’t really care.”
Statement four: Edna is both attracted to and made uneasy by the Creole culture into which she married.
Edna was brought up catholic in Kentucky. With her being catholic in all, made her shy and not used to the openness that the Creole culture has. For example, when a book was circulating through out the island, she got the book that had sexual things written in it (more than likely a romance novel) and she instantly shut the book, but secretly she wanted to keep reading it. “She felt moved to read the book in secret and solitude, though none of the others had done so–to hide it from view at the sound of approaching footsteps.”(pg19, chapter IV) this reflects how she was brought up; she wasn’t brought up to talk about these things openly like the creoles had been. But, this made her attracted to the Creole society, made it more appealing to her.
Statement five: It is said that one’s life flashes before one’s eyes on the face of certain death.
Life does flash before a person’s eyes in the face of a certain death. Take for instance, Edna. In the end of the novel, Edna’s life “flashes before her eyes”. She thinks of the children, Leonce, Robert, Doctor Mandelet, Her father and her sister and Mademoiselle Reisz while she was in the water, about to let the sea take her down under. “She thought of Leonce and the children…How Mademoiselle Reisz would have laughed….Perhaps Dr. Mandelet would understand if she had seen him….” (Pg190, chapter XXXIX) This goes to show who she was thinking of.
It would be easy to say that Edna Pontellier emulates both Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, however, throughout the novel, it is evident that Edna steps out beyond this assumption and asserts herself as another person altogether. This is obvious in the defining features of each of the women. Madame Ratignolle, for example, is always represented in a very flamboyant nature and is usually ...
Edna doesn’t like Madame Ratignolle. Well, she likes her, she just doesn’t like that fact that she Madame Ratignolle is a devoted wife and mother; she doesn’t get why she wants to be like that. She wonders why doesn’t she(Madame Ratignolle) want to be free(in a sense).
Edna thinks that Madame Ratignolle represents the “Mother-like figure and devoted wife” type of woman. As Edna struggles with her place in the home and in society at large, Ratignolle reminds her to think of her children and put them above all else, even herself.
Edna is very fond of Mademoiselle Reisz because she is the main reason that caused her awakening. With Mademoiselle Reisz’s encouragement, Edna was able to let go of such customs that smothered her such as the Tuesday visits. Reisz also gave Edna the support she needed to realize her potential artistry; this gave Edna’s new insights on her awakening. Mademoiselle Reisz influences Edna by acting like a sanctuary for her. Basically, Mademoiselle Reisz is Edna’s support system.
These two woman, throughout the course of the novel, have a great affect on Edna. Without Reisz, Edna wouldn’t have find her voice and become an artist. She would have just kept on being the way the normal Creole women are. Maybe, if she didn’t meet Reisz she wouldn’t have committed suicide. But, who knows. All in all, Edna thought of her as a “teacher”, in a way. Ratignolle makes Edna realize that her children are important and to even put them above herself. There’s one instance in the book where Raoule is sick and “Edna took him in her arms, and resting herself in the rocker, began to cuddle and caress him, calling him all manner of tender names, soothing him to sleep”. This shows Edna’s motherly side; Ratignolle taught her somewhat to care for her children, in a way. Edna respects these two woman in the book. They’re important to her because they show her things that she didn’t realize on her own.
The Awakening In the novella The Awakening by Kate Chopin, two supporting characters, Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, represent two distinctively different females of the Victorian Age. Madame Ratignolle serves as society's idea of the ideal woman. 'There [is] nothing subtle or hidden about her charms; her beauty [is] all there, flaming and apparent: the spun-gold hair that [neither] ...
The Awakening and Ethan Frome go hand in hand with each other. They both deal with such things as two people that couldn’t be with each other and suicide. (well, attempted suicide in the book Ethan Frome).
Ethan Frome resembles Edna because he marries Zeena because he doesn’t want to be alone, and because she doesn’t want to be naïve and shy. Ethan frome and Mattie attempt suicide because that’s they only way that they could be together, but the twist was that they lived through the crash and Zeena took care of them. While in The Awakening Edna drowns herself because she can’t be with the person she loves(Robert).