Similarities Between Edna Pontellier And Adele Ratignolle

As women in The Awakening, Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle share a number of similarities. Both are married women with children who feel confined by the expectations of society. They both also find themselves attracted to other men, which leads them to explore their independence and desires more fully. Ultimately, both Edna and Adele must confront the traditional values that have been imposed on them and make decisions about their own lives.

Though they share some similarities, there are also key differences between Edna and Adele. For starters, Adele is much more comfortable with her domestic role than Edna is. While Edna often feels like a prisoner in her own home, Adele is content taking care of her family and friends. Additionally, Adele is more willing to compromise her beliefs than Edna is. She is able to find a middle ground with her husband that allows her to maintain some degree of independence.

Ultimately, both Edna and Adele are strong women who refuse to be defined by society’s expectations. They each come to their own conclusions about how they want to live their lives, and ultimately they are both happier for it.

Considering the time when the book was published, Chopin received numerous terrible reviews for identifying with reality: passion, women’s desire for their own self-identity, expression, and sexual freedom. However, in the early 1970s, around the same time as the Second Wave Feminism was burgeoning , The Awakening was revived as a modern writer and pioneer in intellectually challenging authority and tradition while also expressing her concern regarding loose sexuality and its challenges of liberty.

The novel tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a married woman who begins to awaken to her own desires and potential after spending time in New Orleans with her artist friend Mademoiselle Reisz. While in New Orleans, Edna becomes attracted to Robert Lebrun, and the two eventually have an affair. Back in Louisiana, Edna realizes that she is not content with living the conventional life of a married woman and decides to pursue her independence, which leads to her ultimate suicide.

Adele Ratignolle is also a key character in The Awakening, and she serves as a foil for Edna. Ratignolle is a mother and wife who has completely embraced traditional female roles and values. She is content with her life and does not feel the need to explore her own desires or independence. The two women represent different paths that a woman can take in order to find fulfillment, and both paths have their own risks and rewards.

There are many similarities between Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle in The Awakening. Both women are married with children, and they are both struggling to find their place in the world. They both eventually decide to pursue their independence, but they take different paths in doing so. For Edna, this means breaking free from the traditional constraints of society and pursuing her own desires.

For Ratignolle, this means staying within the boundaries of what is expected of her and being content with her life. The two women ultimately have different outcomes, with Edna dying by suicide and Ratignolle remaining happy and content. The Awakening is a novel that explores the complexities of women’s lives and the choices that they face. It is a story about self-discovery and the journey to find one’s own identity.

Edna Pontellier becomes independent, assertive, and sexually liberated while vacationing at Grand Isle, a Creole resort on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. She feels physically powerful and in command of her own body when she learns to swim during her summer holiday. Her emotional and mental awakening is prompted as a consequence.

The barriers were broken down. The restraint of years was thrown off” (Chopin 131). Edna is similar to Adele Ratignolle in The Awakening in that they are both mothers who have awakened to their own power and sexuality.

Both Edna and Adele are not afraid to challenge society’s expectations of them as women. For example, while Adele is discreet about her extramarital affairs, she is not ashamed of them. She knows that she is desirable to men and enjoys their company.

“Adele had the figure of a woman whom nature has endowed with unusual physical attractions….Her form was voluptuous without being too plump, and her skin was delicate and clear, her hair heavy and black, her eyes large and dark” (Chopin 9). Adele is not afraid to be sexualized by men and embrace her femininity. Similarly, Edna is also comfortable with her body and sexuality.

She does not feel the need to hide her nudity from other people. “She had thrown off the garments that covered her head and neck and bosom, and the sun was pouring down upon her in all her youthful glory. The moist bath had imparted a healthy color to her skin, except where the sun had touched it too freely. Her hair clung about her temples like a mass of black seaweed” (Chopin 131).

“As she lay there in her bed, and looked at her round arms while they were held straight up and stroked one after the other, she had a curious sensation, as if it were something new that she was seeing. Mrs. Pontellier clasped her hands easily over her head; and because of this, she fell asleep” (Chopin 58). Chopin’s anaphoric repetition here (“She [verb] … “) conveys Mrs. Pontellier’s gestures and self-reflection. This emphasis encourages readers to conclude that this is Mrs. Pontellier’s first time to examine herself carefully.

The novel progresses with Mrs. Pontellier’s realization of her own needs, which is paralleled by Edna Pontellier’s journey to self-awakening. The most significant similarity between Mrs. Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle is their capacity for motherhood and their roles as wives.

Both women are able to nurture and provide for their families, even when they are not physically present. For example, Adele chooses to spend time with her children in the morning despite her busy schedule as a doctor: “Her children were everything to her… she found that the morning hours went quickly” (Chopin 115).

Similarly, Mrs. Pontellier leaves her children in the care of a trusted nursemaid: “She did not want her boy to lose his mother and she herself to lose her boy. So she went away, leaving him in the care of Mrs. Mallard” (Chopin 292). While both women are excellent mothers, their awakenings present different paths for their families.

Whereas Adele eventually reconciles her identity as a mother with her work, Mrs. Pontellier abandons her son in order to pursue her own interests. Likewise, while Mrs. Ratignolle remains a dutiful wife to her abusive husband, Mrs. Pontellier divorces hers. The most significant difference between the two women is that Edna possesses the agency to act on her own behalf, while Adele relies on the support of others.

For example, when Edna leaves her husband and son, she does so without telling them: “She went away… not caring what became of her” (Chopin 298). In contrast, when Adele decides to leave her husband, she tells him first and he reacts violently: “He caught her by the wrists and shook her with all his might. The children ran screaming to Mrs. Ratignolle” (Chopin 122). The different paths that Mrs. Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle take reflect their differing levels of agency.

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