The Controlling Men of The Awakening Essay

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The Grand Isle society and inhabitants put great expectations on its women to belong to their men and be secondary to their children. Throughout Kate Chopin's dramatic novel The Awakening, she tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman who throughout the story tries to find herself using various different methods until it leads to her untimely demise. Kate Chopin tries to make the women look more as possessions rather than people. Edna Pontellier's society, therefore, flourishes with "mother-women," who "idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it to a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals" (12). Throughout the story, Chopin presents a contrast in her male characters. She depicts Leonce as a good …show more content…
Never does Leonce think that it is his right or responsibility to look after the children, and society at the time backs his concept up. Leonce’s thoughts and actions were very selfish to Edna’s need for independence and freedom. He saw his office and business as his job and work at home as Edna’s. Leonce is so caught up in his own ideals that he fails to see his effect on his wife. "He thought it very discouraging that his wife, who was the sole object of his existence, evinced so little interest in the things which concerned him and valued so little his conversation" (9) He was a very self centered man who thought only about himself and his wife’s material needs. Leonce thinks too secure about Edna, he never asks her how her day is going, or if something is bothering her, normal things that would stimulate a marriage. Yet he expects her to be completely fascinated with him and his conversations. “He thought it very discouraging that his wife, the sole object of his existence, envinviced so little interest in things which concerned him and valued so little his conversation. (9)” Leonce expects her to act this way because he knows without her his business would fail. He was prepared to remove any obstacle that will prevent his business’ growth. Leonce is the generic working man of the 1800’s and Chopin has given the readers a glimpse of this. Alcee Arobin is the single man who lives life how he

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