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The Roles of Women in the Awakening

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Edna, Adèle, and Mademoiselle Reisz each portray a different aspect of nineteenth-century womanhood. indeed, each woman could be seen as a different cliched part of what was expected of women. Edna is the rebellious one who wanted nothing more than to break free of the societal norms. Adèle is the perfect woman, and Mademoiselle Reisz is a free woman. All of these varying personalities of women show how difficult it was to obtain and hold on to the standards of the time.Edna is an atrocity, the outcast. In the nineteenth century, it would have been an insult to be a woman of such independent thoughts and questionable beliefs. Women of that era had only one focus: their family. In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman. Every other thought was thought to be beyond the comprehension of women who were true to their motherly nature. Unhappy with the home life that everyone else expects her to live, Edna set out to explore her other possibilities. Unfortunately, Edna’s ideas about sexuality and freedom are greatly frowned upon, making life increasingly difficult for her. Far from being swayed by the misfortune of her generation and societal expectations, she set out on her own path, discovering what she had to offer to her own freedom and womanhood that her generation constantly kept from her.Edna spent too much time in a strict, demanding society. It eventually got to the point where she could no longer handle being the ideal woman, the one who spent all of her time at home tending to the needs of her family. To Edna, there is more to life than just what takes place at home. Completely ignoring what society demanded of her, she focused more on discovering herself – thus the title, The Awakening.