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Word Count: 1,040
In The Awakening by Kate Chopin the social norms of the 19th century are clearly portrayed Edna Pontellier is a stunning individual who decides to go against her gender role as a woman which was unheard of in the Victorian time period At the beginning of the novel Edna accepts the gender social and class related aspects of her life However through experiences with certain situations and individuals she finds her true identity and breaks free of the constricting rules society has placed upon her After her suicide in the end it is obvious to the reader that Edna was a victim of circumstance and had too modern of an outlook on life which isolated her from her surrounding peers The ideal Victorian female was characterized by being a loving and devoted wife and mother They were seen as a possession to their family and husband and were rarely allowed to have an opinion or step outside of the strict set of rules placed upon their lives Most women of the time period fit this gender role but Edna would be an exception In the very beginning of the novel she is juxtaposed with the virtuous mother women present at Grand IsleIn short Mrs Pontellier was not a mother-woman The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle It was easy to know them fluttering about with extended protecting wings when any harm real or imaginary threatened their precious brood They were women who idolized their children worshiped their husbands and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels Chopin 16This quote reveals that Edna was already at a disadvantage to being the idyllic Victorian wife In chapter eight Edna speaks about her husband Leonc and how there is no passion present between the two of them She married him because he fell in love with her and was extremely devoted but if she had a
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