Edna Pontellier And Her Husband In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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The Victorian era, a time period that lasted from 1837-1901, is characterized with a morality in which meticulous rules of conduct were practiced and gender restrictions on individuals were in place. Furthermore, Victorian ideology witnessed an increasing interest towards romanticism and naturalism. The Awakening by Kate Chopin displayed these philosophies with intricate characters that were considered to be controversial at this time. Chopin illustrates the limitations of Edna Pontellier in her society. She also presents different types of men in her book, one of which is Leonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband. Edna and Leonce were expected to have a typical marriage; Edna was to be a “mother-woman” whilst Leonce was an ideal husband. However, Edna desired individuality and was thus not fit to be a “mother-woman,” adding to the complications of their marriage. Moreover, their marriage was …show more content…
Leonce may have had a devotion towards Edna, constantly showering her with gifts that made every other girl jealous. However, he did not love her. Societal expectations between the present and the past regarding romance vastly contrast each other as modern individuals display their affection publicly unlike those who lived in the Victorian age. As a result, observing the relationship between Edna and her husband from a twenty first lense creates bias within intellectuals who study The Awakening. Nonetheless, literature of any age has habitually shown scholars what love boils down to: intimacy and sacrifice. Throughout the book, Mr. and Mrs. Pontellier’s marriage has been regarded as anything but intimate. Furthermore, Leonce was never shown sacrificing anything for Edna, not even his stature or reputation. Ergo, even when considering the differences of romantic relationships between the Victorian culture and the twenty first century, readers can see that Leonce Pontellier is incapable of loving

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