Juxtaposition In The Awakening

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Widely considered to be a prominent novel in American literature, The Awakening by Kate Chopin tells the story of one woman’s struggle between marriage, motherhood, and independence during the late 19th century. The novel explores the life of Edna Pontellier, a woman who is unsatisfied by her marriage to her husband and motherhood and begins to challenge the standards of society. Kate Chopin addresses the issue of the conventional social norms placed upon women during the time period, and she advocates for more independence for women through the character of Edna Pontellier. Through literary techniques such as juxtaposition and point of view, Chopin tells the story of a woman who struggles for independence while advocating for social change regarding the roles of women.
The novel explores the expectations of society placed upon women at the time and how Edna continuously breaks them in order to gain more
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Throughout the novel, Edna Pontellier and Madame Ratignolle are frequently contrasted with one another. Madame Ratignolle is a devoted mother and wife who is portrayed as having a strong and healthy relationship with her children and her husband. In contrast to this, Edna’s marriage to her husband is weak. She states that her husband is “like a person whom she had married without love as an excuse,” (77). Madame Ratignolle embodies the expectations and behaviors of a woman during the time, whereas Edna strays from the standard roles and conventions. By juxtaposing Madame Ratignolle and Edna Pontellier, the reader is able to understand the typical role of a woman during the time period, which amplifies Edna’s quest for independence and freedom. This helps the reader to understand why Edna is unsatisfied with her life while also providing a counterpart to her character to show the level in which Edna’s feelings and actions differed from the standards at the

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