Léonce appears to be an ideal husband for the turn of the nineteenth century. He adores his wife Edna, buys her affectionate gifts, and cares for her general well being. When other women see his treatment of Edna, they believe him to be a perfect husband. Edna, however, sees him as being distant and reserved. Though he gives her material freedom, he sees her as a possession. He provides little emotional support and cannot fill any of Edna's rising sexual needs. "Her husband seemed to her now like a person whom she had married without love as an excuse" (77). Léonce proves to be the father figure for Edna. He pampers her and takes care of all her physical needs. However, he is unable to rea...
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...ng in their relationship, but cannot deny something that her newly awakened sexuality craves. It is her way of rebelling against society and fulfilling many suppressed wants and desires. It leaves her empty, however, as this passion did not come from love.
Affairs and liaisons are not necessary parts of life, but for Edna Pontellier they help awaken her true sexual desires, passions, and needs. Her husband provides the needed cover for society and helps her to realize what she is lacking in life. Robert supplies the love, the passion, and the fairy tale romance. He shows her what love is and elicits her childish infatuation. Alcée brings out Edna's id, her want for sex. He allows her to show her animalism that craves sexual attention. Through her experiences with these three men, Edna fully awakens her sexuality.
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