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Word Count: 726
The Process of Edna Pontelliers Awakening The society of Grand Isle places many expectations on its women to belong to men and be subordinate to their children Edna Pontelliers society therefore abounds with mother-women who idolized their children worshipped their husbands and esteemed it to a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals 689 The characters of Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz represent what society views as the suitable and unsuitable women figures Mademoiselle Ratignolle is the ideal Grand Isle woman a home-loving mother and a good wife Mademoiselle Reisz is the old unmarried childless musician who devoted her life to music instead of a man Edna switches between the two identities until she awakens to the fact that she needs to be an individual but encounters resistance from society This begins the process of her awakening Chopin carefully establishes that Edna does not neglect her children but only her mother-woman image Chopin illustrates the idea by telling the reader Mrs Pontellier was not a mother-woman 689 Edna tries to explain to Adele how she feels about her children and how she feels about herself which greatly differs from the mother-woman image She says I would give up the unessential I would give my money I would give my life for my children but I wouldnt give myself I cant make it more clear its only something I am beginning to comprehend which is revealing itself to me 720 Similarly to Ednas relationship with her children is that with her husband Leonce The Grand Isle society defines the role of wife as full devotion and self-sacrifice for your husband Edna never adhered to societies definitions For example the other ladies at Grand Isle all declared that MrPontellier was the best husband in the world 689 And Mrs Pontellier was forced to admit she knew of none better689 By using words like forced and admit Edna has to acknowledge her true feelings towards
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