• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Social Restraints and the Effects Upon Leonce Pontellier, Madame Reisz, and Adele Ratignolle in the Awakening

Extracts from this document...


Peterson 1 Peterson, Nicole Period 3B Rayl English 11IB March 9, 2009 Social Restraints and the Effects Upon Leonce Pontellier, Madame Reisz, and Adele Ratignolle in the Awakening "She has tossed off the garments of false selves; she has learned to swim, to master the waves and move away from the shore to freedom" (Lant). Although the strict confines of proper behavior certainly trap Edna and force her suicide as she "awakens", the same social restraints affect every character in the novel, albeit in different ways. L�once Pontellier, Edna's husband, clearly suffers little under societal rules, being a man, until his wife starts breaking said rules. Madame Reisz has completely escaped the constraints of polite society, but pays the price in her near ostracism. Ad�le Ratignolle, on the other hand, has sacrificed her self in order to conform to society and thrives due to her lack of self-awareness. These three characters, who assist and hinder Edna's "awakening", are all caught in the web of social expectations. ...read more.


However, she is still accepted in their ranks due to her virtuosic ability at the piano. Her rudeness, though detested, is excused as the hallmark of an artiste of the greatest talent, although she derides her audience. This is all at Grand Isle, when there is less restrictive social distinction and all the Creoles come together. Once returning to New Orleans, she is essentially ostracized. Her very home reflects her lesser status, as it is located in a less "stylish" and expensive area of town. It is doubtful as to whether she even retains a maid, something unthinkable in the upper class. Madame Reisz accepts and enjoys her lower status, her near recluse status; she is surprised when Edna comes to visit. She has little use for society and its extensive confines of "proper" behavior, as these merely serve to obstruct her creativity and artistic ability. Chopin further emphasizes her distance from society and life in general in never revealing her first name, Peterson 3 which would permit a certain amount of intimacy. ...read more.


Society rules Ad�le's life, although she is utterly unaware of this. Peterson 4 The rules of society act differently upon L�once Pontellier, Madame Reisz, and Ad�le Ratignolle. Mr. Pontellier allows society to confine him, as it deems him prosperous, successful, and a good and caring husband. The only time he truly feels its confines is when his wife breaks through them in order to manifest her independence and self. Madame Reisz, as an artist, is allowed slightly more license than any other. However, she is a near social outcast due to her refusal to conform to expectations. A spinster with amazing talent and emotion in her piano playing, she is barely accepted into the drawing rooms of the elite as a result of her defiance of societal conventions. Ad�le Ratignolle, on the other hand, is esteemed and admired for her utter devotion to her family, as is expected of all women of the time. Almost simpleminded when compared to Edna or Madame Reisz, she is the societal exemplar of motherhood in every phrase and action. The constraints of society act differently on all three characters: they are all trapped, but feel the entrapment in different ways, or not at all. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Misc section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Misc essays

  1. ITGS portfolio Loss of employment and privacy issues regarding the rise of online grocery ...

    While retailers were initially terrified of what bad reviews could do to their bottom line, they've since witnessed the power of a rave review and embraced the practice. Despite initial fears, says Craig Berman, Amazon's vice president of global communications, product reviews have only served to increase their customer loyalty.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting Envy and Deception in Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing and Othello

    Claudio doesn't give Hero the chance to defend herself and is so blinded by his rage that he says, "She knows the heat of a luxurious bed/Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty." He has taken an insignificant detail and blown it out of proportion and his language is somewhat explicit.

  1. Communicating with children

    If sounds are not made around the baby, he will not learn to speak very well in the future. Babies need to be stimulated by carers and by parents too in order to develop their language. I tried to do my best with David.

  2. Arrival of Bee Box

    For instance in stanza two, Plath makes reference to a "box is locked, it is dangerous". What she is infact referring to here through the use of metaphors is that of her thoughts that she considers to be dangerous which Plath feels she cannot refrain from thinking about.

  1. Development of Nora's and Torvalds relationship in "Dolls House"

    'Pops the bag of Macaroons in her pocket and wipes her mouth', determined to get rid of all evidence from her husband that she has been secretly indulging in contraband sweet. A grown women sharing a vaguely innocent trait as that of a child, in the same scene Helmer 'goes

  2. health and social care

    others (NHS,2009).The table below is an extract from the NHS Information centre showing the number of people who sought community based care services in the year 2007/2008. Table 1. Number of clients estimated to receive services from April 2007 to March 2008.

  1. GCSE Welsh Baccalaureate Completed Diary Pages

    We would hope to be situated as close to the celebrities as possible in order to generate maximum revenue. We as a group decided that the best possible way to promote ourselves is gain maximum attention and recognition, with a good reputation.

  2. Can the work of architect Le Corbusier be explored in the context of the ...

    research, to generate new ideas such as the five points of architecture. It is evident that Le Corbusier has chosen these five points of architecture to compliment his basic pleasures. Le Corbusier created five points of architecture through his research and apprenticeships with other architects.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work