Being the mother that she is, Amanda wishes nothing but “success and happiness for her precious children” (Williams 1996). Although her mothering techniques can be extreme and or suffocating to some degree, she is not oblivious to all of the dysfunctional nature of her family. Amanda cares about the health of her children. A childhood illness has left her daughter Laura with a limp. Being aware of this “cripple”, Laura has developed a mental fragility and an inferiority complex that have isolated her from the outside world (Unknown, Amanda Wingfield).
She went along with the way things were supposed to be, holding her socials and tending to her house until she became aware that she needs more from her life. Edna's marriage to Leonce is safe, but there is no passion or excitement. "She grew fond of her husband, realizing with some unaccountable satisfaction that no trace of passion or excessive and fictitious warmth colored her affection, thereby threatening its dissolution" (Chopin, p. 18). While this lack of emotion is enough to satisfy Edna for the majority of her marriage, after she begins to allow her true self to come forth, she feels trapped and seeks a way to escape. She realizes that she needs intrigue and flavor in her marriage, especially, in her life.
(Victorian Women, p. 118). Women were supposed to happily accept this position in the home, and be satisfied. It never satisfied Edna, who always seemed out of place when with other women. She was a wife and a mother, but not the typical Victorian wife and mother. With regards to her children, "Their absence was sort of relief...It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she blindly assumed and for which Fate had not fitted her" (p. 18).
Although Rose believes that she has "no hope," inside she has a nengkan as powerful as her mothers, which makes her wish her marriage would last, just as her mother wishes Bing would still be alive. Overall, each mother in The Joy Luck Club went through something emotionally exhausting and saddening in her life. The mothers use their experiences to try to direct the course of their daughters' lives, to make them simpler and more carefree. Initially, however, the daughters only see that their mothers want to make decisions for them, not to help them. Ultimately, the daughters realize their mothers' intentions, but not all accept them.
Their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed and for which fate had not fitted her. (p. 40) Edna Pontellier is a child discovering her very sense of self. Her attitude toward her own children emphasizes the she is not the typical “mother-woman” (p. 29). This is one of the key elements in identifying Edna’s “awakening.” Unlike the other women, such as Madame Ratignolle, she has not accepted her role unquestionably.
At this point in a child’s life he needs parental guidance. Since Edna’s mother is dead she was probably somewhat rebellious and though Leonce made her happy in the beginning their relation... ... middle of paper ... ...’t realize that there is anything wrong with her life until she meets those around her that are free from conformity. In Mme. Reisz, Edna admires and desires what she has which is independency. She doesn’t rely on anyone for anything.
Edna Pontellier in The Awakening by Kate Chopin begins the novel in a semiconscious state where she is living the role condemned to her by society of a mother and homemaker. Her progression from a passive woman to a passionate, independent female corresponds to the steps she takes in her “awakening”. As Edna lets go of societal principles and her stereotypical role in the world, Edna creates a new identity away from her family and embodies the “new woman”. She knows she cannot truly escape society which is why she ultimately submits to death. Edna steers her actions by her emotional needs and personal interest causing her to show a complete lack of perception outside of herself.
She allowed her need for love to curtail the love her children received from her. Edna was fine without her children,“Their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed and for which Fate had not fitted her.” Her choice to end her life, and not return to her children was just purely thoughtless. Different from the other women at Grand Isle, Edna attempted to find love outside of her marriage. As she fell in love with Robert she began to put a halt to her present life.
In Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”, longing for passion and freedom Edna Pontellier leaves the safety of her gilded cage, only to find that death is her only salvation. In the 1800’s the main role in society for a female was to be a wife and mother, women at this time were the property of their husbands and had little say in anything. Which for Edna was the opposite of what she wanted, she wanted to be free from these responsibilities and to live her own life. Although Edna is not a victim in the role society has chosen for her, she freely walked into her gilded cage and into the role of wife to Leonce Pontellier and mother to their children. The longer she stayed in her marriage, the more she realizes that the passion she needed was not there with her husband, nor was the motherly affection she should have felt for her children.
The role of mother-woman does not provide the independence that Edna desires. Mademoiselle Reisz, on the other hand, gives Edna an alternative to the role of "mother-woman". She offers an abundance autonomy and independence however her life lacks love. Although she has a secure sense of her own individuality and independence, her life lacks love, friendship and warmth. Edna chooses for her identity a combination of Adéle Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz.