Walker's Look Into the Creole Culture Essay

956 Words 4 Pages
Whether it be a person, technology, or the environment, questions of how things persuade a character's behavior always arises. In Nancy Walker's critique called “ [Feminist of Naturalist]”, Walker states that Edna's downward spiraling life is caused by her inability to free herself from her Creole culture. Although it is true that the novel appears to embrace this idea, there are a multitude of moments where Chopin allows Edna to appear as a character who makes decisions for herself. In doing so, Chopin effectively illustrates a flaw in Walkers theory on Creole culture and naturalism, and displays Edna's awkward and uncomfortable feelings towards the Creole lifestyle, revealing her ability to fight against nature, thus making their own …show more content…
Another vital element Chopin uses to contradict Walker's ideas about Edna and naturalism is through the juxtaposition of jovial and melancholy feelings. Walker in her critique,states that “ Edna's, full of the sensual detail of flowers, golden goblets, and beautiful women(256)”. In the passage however, Edna's thoughts are not those of sensuality, and beauty, but of pain and displeasure. The use of the juxtaposition of words like ecstasy and pain, along with other phrases like “heavy order” and “deaden sensation”, allows Chopin to strip away the false thoughts of a beautiful scene, and reveals it as one more grotesque than delightful. This idea contradicts those of Madame Ratignolle, who feels that child birth is a blessing. In revealing Edna's distaste and dead emotion towards the spectacle, Chopin makes it very clear that Edna does not find the enjoyment in something so embraced by Creole culture. This allows another instance of Edna backing away from the culture, thus forming her own opinions and sticking to them. Not once in the depiction of child birth, or that of Madame Ratignolle does Chopin allow any of Edna's thoughts to be joyful, instead Edna conveys a scene of horror, one that she wants no part of. Edna in this moment rejects a condition to life that Creole society attempts to influence her to accept, and in the same instance, contradicts Walkers

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