The Role of Women in the Awakening

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The Role Of Women in The Awakening
The role of women is one of the major themes of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. The three main female characters of the story help to show the views of women to society, with Madame Ratignolle showing the example of the perfect woman, Mademoiselle Reisz representing the opposite of a proper woman of the time, and Edna representing the changing views of women and their roles. The roles portrayed by these women make the role of women a main focus throughout the novel. Madame Ratignolle is the perfect example of the societies view of the perfect women in the early 1900’s. She was describes as “The embodiment of every womanly grace and Charm”(21). She also took her role as a mother seriously putting her children before all else, as well as bringing a new child into the world every two years or so. She was subtle with delicate conversation matters even referring to her pregnancy as “Her Condition” (22).Also showing here Subtle traits when talking to Edna during Childbirth telling Edna, “Think of the Children” (152), telling Edna she knew of her adoration for Robert. Madame Ratignolle is portrayed as an example of both the perfect mother-woman and the perfect example of a woman who fits into the role of women. The exact opposite of Madame Ratignolle would be Mademoiselle Reisz, representing one who forsook the role of a woman. Said to be a cruel uncaring woman throughout the novel. She was also the opposite of a mother-woman. Never marrying a husband whom she could adore, and never having children. Although she wasn’t an example of the role of women she helped Edna see a new side to women and helped change her view. With her music helping awaken the true Edna, inspiring Edna to seek enjoyment in her own arts. As her time was spent with Edna she shows the compassion and love she could of given but chose not to. Showing that although she was not viewed as a fit for the role of women, in a special way she was an inspiration for a new...
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