The Portrayal Of Women In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

1882 Words 8 Pages
In Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is the portrayal of a woman who was stuck in an unhappy marriage where the only thing she was good for was to stand as a symbol of her husband’s wealth. This selection speaks to me about the way men portrayed women in the 18th century. The themes expressed are societies view on women, and the search for self-identity, which means that women struggled to have a voice and a life outside of their family and home. The setting of the book is in the late 1800s and reflects the scrutiny which women were facing, on issues like marriage and divorce. This selection is a stark difference of where women stand in today’s society. This selection spoke to me about the view of women, not only how men perceived …show more content…
Although she is expected to stay at home, there are people to do all the necessary jobs, this leaves Edna feeling that she is needed nowhere and she has no other purpose rather than being there so her husband can claim a wife, a representation of his money if you will. She wants to discover what ignites her passions, and to find her purpose in the world she must change what she has been used to. Her life up until this point has not been in her hands, rather under her husband’s control. He has decided where they live and what she does and whom she sees. This leaves her wondering where her voice is and why she has not expressed her own opinion. After the departure from their summer home, Edna wants to try new things and discover her purpose outside of their home, however when she begins to do this her husband immediately disapproves, for instance when she leaves her home to go out for the day her husband is enraged by her outing and he responds as if she has broken a law. It appears to the reader as if she was the property of her husband, and in these times she very much was. This only encourages Edna to do more, she withdraws from typical friends and reaches out to a woman who is unmarried and has no children, this woman is her own purpose and she does only what pleases her. This adds to Edna’s inspiration to find her place in the …show more content…
As the book is based in the late 1800s this book is a mirror image of what many women were going through at the time, an unhappy marriage in which they had no voice or worth. However in this day and age divorce was not an option, it was forbidden. So whether the women were pleased or not with the person whey were married to, or whether or not they felt important there was nothing to be done. Women had no authority over their own lives and no choice to better their situation. They were expected to be wives and mothers and nothing else was to be permitted. Women’s voices didn’t matter and were not heard. However on the other hand this selection represents the change that was happening in this time as well. Women were starting to change for the better and stand up for themselves, much like Edna does by questioning the world around her and wondering how she can better her life for her own happiness. In the late years of the 1800s women were beginning to search for their given rights, and to change the work relations that had previously been established for them. This is exactly what Edna is experiencing; she is questioning the expected “norms” and going beyond the boundaries that have been set in her life to find what is right for herself and her happiness. Overall Edna is a symbol for women and all the trials and tribulations

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