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Write a 2 page essay on In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is closely associated with two other women who represent opposite extremes of acceptable behavior for women of her social class: Madame Ratign
Write a 2 page essay on In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier is closely associated with two other women who represent opposite extremes of acceptable behavior for women of her social class: Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz. Discuss how EITHER woman serves as a foil for Edn.
She becomes an independent woman who follows her passions and urges, leaving behind her family. However, Edna’s character isolates her from the society, leading her to leave a life of solitude. Various characters such as Adele Ratignolle and Madam Reisz serve as her foil. Nevertheless, Edna finds that both characters are limited by societal expectations and is disgusted with the life that her friend Ratignolle leads. Although she loves her children, she argues that they cannot “posses her body and soul” (Chopin, “the Norton Anthology” 723). Therefore, this paper gives a limelight to how Madame Ratignolle serves as a foil to Edna and ways in which her aspirations are ill suited. It is evident that Ratignolle is Edna’s foil since she is an epitome of the woman’s perceived role in Creole society and an example of a woman who is fully devoted to her family unlike Edna.
In Creole society, women are either defined by men or live separately from the society. Women are expected to live a pure life and attend to the needs of their husbands and children. They are also supposed to give birth and appreciate womanhood. However, Edna has created a world of her own in which she seeks independence to be free from such expectations. Although she realizes that her children are part of her life, she does not want to be defined as just a mother and a wife but aspires to have more in her life. This makes her life harder since other women around her such as Adele subscribe to a different school of thought and are dedicated to serving their families without having ulterior desires. Her husband, Leonce accuses her often of neglecting her children, asserting, “If it was not a mother’s place to look after children, whose on earth was it?” (Chopin, “the Norton Anthology” 837). In that case, Edna is poorly suited to pursue her dreams in a