Kate Chopin 's The Awakening Essay

1286 Words May 31st, 2015 null Page
Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” provides readers with a dynamic perspective of challenging traditional gender norms in a provocative and controversial novel that advocates life from the perspective of the main protagonist, Edna Pontellier. The activities and events that Edna partakes in challenges orthodox thoughts regarding the role a woman plays in regards to her children, spouse, and society as a whole. These diversions from norms accurately reflect the unspoken rise of feminist thought actively occurring in society throughout the late-nineteenth century. In most American households, gender roles are ‘assigned’ in that the wife must be sure to take care of her children while the husband spends his time out of the house earning income and other resources in order to supply the home. Chopin directly challenges this right away within the text by portraying Edna as a character who does not pay strict attention to her duties as a mother.
As evidenced in the text, Edna holds a weaker relationship with her children than her husband Léonce. It is seen that whenever Léonce prepares to leave the home his children are much more readily wanting to go along than to stay with Edna. While it is made apparent that the children do not necessarily loathe their mother, their secure attachment to their father contradicts the typical traditional relationship between mother and child. In chapter three, Léonce makes valuable commentary regarding Edna, with Chopin stating, “He reproached his…

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