According to Mary Wollstonecraft in ‘a Vindication of the Rights of Women’ Women Are ‘Confined in Cages’ Like the Feathered Race, They Have Nothing to Do but to Plume Themselves and Stalk with Mock Majesty from Perch to

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According to Mary Wollstonecraft in ‘A vindication of the rights of women’ women are ‘confined in cages’ like the feathered race, they have nothing to do but to plume themselves and stalk with mock majesty from perch to perch. Examine this viewpoint in relation to Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle. The Awakening, being set in 1899, represents the controversially unfair life woman at the time were forced to live. The viewpoint Mary Wollstonecraft shares highlights the lack of self-worth woman at the time had which Kate Chopin effectively presents in her novel through the use of both characters Edna and Adele. At the beginning of the novel, the parrot we are told about which is hanging in a cage may be seen as a metaphor for the lives of both Edna and Adele. Mary Wollstonecraft says that women were ‘confined in cages’ just like the parrot, meaning they have no freedom and are trapped in a life, for Edna’s case, they do not want to be in. Chopin portrays Edna to be living a life she does not want to be in when she says Edna’s marriage was an ‘accident’ and we continuously see Edna being uncaring toward husband and even her children. Edna had ‘so little interest’ in what Mr Pontellier had to say and she had a ‘habitual neglect’ of her children. This shows that she was not content with her life as she had no true love for her husband and nor true affection for her children. This also highlights Mary Wollstonecraft’s point of the only thing women had to do was to go from ‘perch to perch’ as it depicts the fact women had no real purpose. Although Adele Ratignolle seems content with her marriage as she was ‘keenly interested’ in everything her husband had to said and was the perfect ‘mother-woman’ in Adele, Wollstonecraft’s point of a women’s purpose being to ‘plume’ herself is illustrated. Adele is described by having ‘charm’ and ‘beauty’ and is said to have ‘grace’ in everything she did. This can all be seen as a way of making her husband look good. It shows she...
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