Beach her husband stared at her as if one of his

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beach, her husband stared at her as if one of his things had been damaged, "looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of property which has suffered some damage" (Chopin 4). Chopin purposely used two examples in the book to portray the standards of society and the opposing rebels. Madam Ratignolle’s character was used to portray what was “acceptable” in society while Madam Reiz’s character in contrast was used to show the hidden desires and ambitions of women who are forced to conform to the standards of society (Phenix 10). Edna was very good friends with Madam Ratignolle and often took her advice, but near the end she was also heavily influenced and inspired by Madam Reiz. However, ultimately Edna chose her own path and decided to break free and follow her urge to become a free and independent woman. “Chopin indeed "breaks away from conventions of literary domesticity" by "writing about women's longing for sexual and personal emancipation," for Edna ultimately follows neither Adelle's nor Mademoiselle Reisz's example,” (Thompson 12). At the beginning of the novel, Edna was unsure of what she truly wanted and many of the choices she made were simply impulsive and not thought through rationally. Edna often felt lost and misplaced in the beginning, not knowing her place in society and feeling an unexplainable sadness. In the beginning of the novel, Edna states, “I was a little unthinking child in those days, just following a misleading impulse without question,” and that she often feels the same way this summer (Chopin 17). It is not until the first moonlight swim she has with Robert whom she initially refuses but then accepts, that she realizes her connection with the sea and her surroundings. The swim is what then triggers the start of a new awakening for Edna.

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