The Consequences Of Arranged Marriage In The Awakening By Kate Chopin

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Over the years, many women have been subjected to arranged marriages in order for their families to benefit. Oftentimes, the marriages are without love and passion, leaving the women to be held to unreasonable standards. In “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, Edna is married to a very controlling man, often regarding Edna as a piece of his property. He tends to chide her for failing to perform the duties he has set out for her. However, whilst on vacation with her husband, Edna comes across a young man, named Robert, whom she is truly happy with. Feeling trapped between a life she does not want and the life she has only dreamed of, Edna is confronted with an internal conflict that she has not experienced before. Like Edna, many women are held to …show more content…
Recounting her dreams, Edna realizes that her union to Mr. Pontellier is not quite a happy one; however, had she been given the choice, this would not have been the life she would have picked for herself. Chopin expands, “The acme of bliss, which would have been a marriage with the tragedian, was not for her in this world” (Chopin 1267). Here, it is explained that Edna’s ultimate happiness would have been a marriage to the tragedian, whom she had once been in love with; however, because she is a woman, she was not given the choice. Reluctantly married to Mr. Pontellier, she has found herself unhappy, often crying out of frustration at the harsh words her husband offers. Many wives live through similar situations, wishing to be free of an unhappy relationship and yet, either due to cultural reasons or societal pressures, there is no escape for them. Unfortunately, this means they must live with their misery for the rest of their …show more content…
It is not often that women are seen as equals in a marriage, especially in regards with household responsibilities. According to many men, women exist only to bear children and take care of the house. Mr. Pontellier personifies this stereotype by perceiving his wife as nothing more than a possession, needing to be owned. Chopin bluntly states, “Looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of property” (Chopin 1254). After scolding Edna for being sunburnt, he does not look at her tenderly or with affection, he looks at her instead as a damaged good. Mr. Pontellier is naturally controlling and this attitude is seen here, during the exchange between husband and wife. The behavior is seen frequently throughout this novel, emphasizing how inferior Edna is in Mr. Pontellier’s eyes. In this specific time period, women lacked many of the basic rights men were entitled to, making the disparity among men and women even larger. Although this story portrays the thoughts of a century ago, some of the traditional viewpoints can still be seen cross-culturally

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