The Dual Life In The Awakening By Kate Chopin

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The prominent men in Edna’s life were always present, every time she managed to escape the clutches of one man, another came along. She jumped at the chance to marry Lѐonce to escape from her father who had always forced her to be someone that she was not. “At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life–that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions” (Chopin 13). Her father viewed the world differently from her since she could remember, it served to drive her from his presence. She meets Lѐonce Pontellier who instantly becomes smitten with Edna, “she fancied there was a sympathy of thought between them, in which fancy was mistaken. Add to this the violent opposition of her father and her sister …show more content…
However, her candidates for lovers are bound by the same categories she seeks to reject. Arobin clearly adheres to the double standard and Robert seeks to save her honor by leaving her. Since she is defining not only a new self, but also a realization of what is possible to her through living as an autonomous person, she is again rebuffed (Bogard 16).
All of them men within her life are convinced that they know what is best for Edna, they do not trust her to make the right decisions. While they all claim to have deep feelings for her, “In the world of Edna Pontellier one can either be defined by men or live a life separate from the rest of society” (Kaplon 1). Everyone in her life questions her actions if they are not satisfactory, most of which are all involving the perceived roles of women that should never alter from
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“Edna had once told Madame Ratignolle that she would never sacrifice herself for her children, or any one. Then followed a rather heated argument; the two women did not appear to understand each other or to be talking the same language” (Chopin 47). Adѐle Ratignolle could simply not comprehend her life not revolving around her duties as a mother. Noticing that Robert is starting to charm Edna, Ratignolle warns him against it because those in Mrs. Pontellier’s life can tell that his time and attention would mean something important to Edna. “The deception Adѐle recognizes in Robert mirrors the deception of Creole society which seems to accord women greater latitude than it is willing to grant” (Thornton 52). Even though she recognizes that they make each other happy, she is trying to keep them apart because he is not equipped to deal with the consequences of his actions. Robert is young so he does not realize that Edna may take his advances seriously, which could impact more lives than simply the two of them. Madame Ratignolle takes it upon herself to watch out for Mrs. Pontellier’s best interests since Edna has such a small grasp on how the world should work. After spending so much time in the company of Mrs.

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