Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Download Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Awakening Study Guide." Course Hero. 7 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Dec. 2017. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Awakening/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2017, February 7). The Awakening Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Awakening/

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "The Awakening Study Guide." February 7, 2017. Accessed December 15, 2017. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Awakening/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Awakening Study Guide," February 7, 2017, accessed December 15, 2017, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Awakening/.

The Awakening | Chapter 22 | Summary

Share
Share

Summary

One morning on his way to town, Mr. Pontellier stops and consults Doctor Mandelet about Edna's "odd" behavior. He is worried that she lets the housekeeping go and has strange ideas about "the eternal rights of women." Mr. Pontellier is also concerned that she's spending so much time going around town by herself, coming in late, and neglecting her duties to the family. Doctor Mandelet advises Mr. Pontellier to leave Edna alone and not to let her behavior bother him, as it is most likely a "passing whim." The doctor does agree to stop by the Pontellier home to see Edna, however, before Mr. Pontellier leaves.

Analysis

Doctor Mandelet is an interesting character because he seems relatively unconcerned about Edna's behavior. Even when Léonce Pontellier tells the doctor that he and Edna "meet in the morning at the breakfast table," a delicate way of saying their relationship has ceased to have a sexual component, he doesn't react with outrage at Edna—but he is quick to recognize the possibility that Mr. Pontellier has mistreated Edna. His presence acknowledges that adultery is perhaps more common than people acknowledge, even in polite society. He helps to normalize Edna's longings, making her less of a "freak" while simultaneously highlighting her need for absolute independence separate from mere adultery, a different matter altogether.

His advice to just leave Edna to her own devices can be seen as supportive of her, or of women's rights, or both. He does note that "women are not all alike," a notion that might seem obvious but which Léonce Pontellier may not fully understand. Yet Doctor Mandelet also ridicules "pseudo-intellectual women—super-spiritual superior beings." Whatever his opinions of women it is clear that the doctor's wait-and-see attitude comes from his greater experience of diverse human beings and human relationships while Mr. Pontellier seems to be rather naive in his approach.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Awakening? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Download Study Guide
Ask a homework question - tutors are online