Free Awakening Essays: The Creole Men of The Awakening

Free Awakening Essays: The Creole Men of The Awakening

Length: 3202 words (9.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Creole men of The Awakening


Thesis: In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening the characters of the Creole men are diverse and different as the character Edna. Most of Kate Chopin’s stories center around a Woman unsatisfied with her position in life, while living in a man dominated society. The three main characters are typical men of that era. Chopin shows the diversity in each of those three characters. Roberts awakening, and the struggle to do what is the right thing. Alcee and how he is carefree and not concerned with society’s expectations of him, and so has a reputation. Mr. Pontiller, a business man first and foremost, with little left for wife and family. Robert did the right and noble thing by leaving to go to Mexico so as to not have to see the object of his forbidden love. Alcee see’s Edna as another one of his conquest, and does not give up, pursuing her at all cost. Alcee has not concern of what society thinks of him so he is able to do as he pleases. Mr. Pontieller, while he believes himself to be a kind husband, is a typical businessman of the era. He wants his wife to obey him. He wants the perfect Creole wife, one who can help him excel in the business world he loves so much. In exploring these three men in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, there are certain aspects of each, while different, the same. All live in the 1800’s were morale reputation was considered to be the utmost importance to the Sommerer ii businessman, yet, Alcee seems unconcerned with any morale or business responsibility. In exploring the character of Robert who seems to be at a crossroad in his life. Search for his fortune, find a wife, prosper and be respectable, or, do the unthinkable and follow his heart. Sommerer iii Creole Men In The Awakening: Mr. Pontellier is the typical Creole husband and businessman. “Leonce is convinced that fulfilling monetary needs excuses the paucity of time he spends with the children, never presuming that some needs cannot be monetarily satisfied: {“He has his hands full with his brokerage business …making a living for his family on the street”(885)} Even to himself, Leonce’s thought smack of the self-pity of the empowered. Perhaps because he is aware of his own neglect, Leonce projects his guilt onto Edna, expecting flawless mammal performance on her part to remedy his domestic absence.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Awakening Essays: The Creole Men of The Awakening." 15 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Awakening: America Was Not Ready For Edna Pontellier Essay example

- The late nineteenth century was a time of great social, technological, and cultural change for America. Boundaries were rapidly evolving. New theories challenging age-old beliefs were springing up everywhere, such as Darwin's natural selection. This post-Civil War era also gave men and women opportunities to work side-by-side, and in 1848, the first woman's rights conference was held in Seneca Fall, New York. These events leading up to the twentieth century had polished the way for the new, independent woman to be introduced....   [tags: Kate Chopin, The Awakening]

Research Papers
1882 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about What It Means To Be A Woman in The Awakening by Kate Chopin

- ... She mothers Edna as well as her own children throughout the novel, and always manages to bring her children up during group discussions. “She was always talking about her ‘condition’ Her ‘condition’ was in no way apparent, and now one would have known a thing about it but for her persistence in making it a subject for conversation.” This quote emphasizes how much of her focus is on children, whether they are newborn babies, or little kids. During her visit to Edna’s summer cottage, she brings patterns of baby clothes to sew for both Edna and her, while they discuss other events, even though neither is pregnant, and Edna is content with her children’s wardrobe for the winter....   [tags: creole, independence, freedom]

Research Papers
1252 words (3.6 pages)

Free Awakening Essays: An Analysis of The Awakening

- An Analysis of The Awakening The first thing I would like to do is go through and pick out the chapters I found to be significant in the novel. Chapter 1: *there is symbolism of a well trained “caged” bird, (like we read in the hypertext) which represents what wives were to be in Edna’s lifetime *well trained *speaks of pleasantries *begins with Summer a time of beauty, fullness and fruition *Grand Isle *vacation from New Orleans life (imprisonment) *ends at Summer after 1 yr *this vacation follows Edna back to New Orleans where she gradually begins to see how trapped she really is *it is after this vacation that Edna begins to “awake” Chapter 2: *Edna was from Kentucky and married...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
1181 words (3.4 pages)

Wolff’s Critique of Chopin’s The Awakening Essays

- Wolff’s Critique of Chopin’s The Awakening The critical case study to the novel establishes a definition of a type of critical response, and then gives as close an example that fits that mode of criticism—BORING. First, the book has these forms of criticism laid out contiguously, as if they occurred only spatially and not temporally. This flattened and skewed representation of critical approaches, taking an argument out of its context (an academic debate) and uses it as if it were a pedagogical tool....   [tags: Chopin Awakening]

Research Papers
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Relationship between Chopin's Life and The Awakening Essay

- Relationship between Chopin's Life and The Awakening Katherine O'Flahtery Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri February 8,1851. She was the daughter of Thomas and Eliza O'Flaherty, a prominent Irish-born merchant and his wife. Together, Chopin's parents represented freedom and the American dream. Their ambition and spirit helped mold Chopin into a unique character with independence and intelligence. Her father died suddenly when Chopin was four years old. His death was the result of a terrible accident that took the lives of several civic leaders when the key link to the Pacific Railroad was being completed and a bridge collapsed....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Research Papers
1364 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Love and Self in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

- Love and Self in The Awakening                  Kate Chopin's The Awakening is often said to triumph the exploration on the emotional and sexual needs of women, and the novel certainly is about that to a great extent, but even more importantly, it is a quest for individuality and the meaning of love. Through the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, Chopin describes in her novel one woman's journey towards self-consciousness. Several stages of 'awakenings' can be detected on the road, which are discussed in detail, along with the themes of romantic love, possession and an individual self....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Research Papers
3479 words (9.9 pages)

feminaw Suicide as the Only Alternative for Edna Pontellier in The Awakening

- Suicide as the Only Alternative in The Awakening    In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the principal character, Edna decides to kill herself rather than to live a lie. It seemed to Kate that the time of her own death was the only thing remaining under her control since society had already decided the rest of her life for her.  Edna was a woman of the wrong times; she wanted her independence and she wanted to be with her lover, Robert.  This type of behavior would never be accepted by the society of her time.  Edna's relationship with Robert, and her rejection of the role dictated to her by society, resulted in her perceiving suicide to be the only solution to her problems....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
945 words (2.7 pages)

The Awakening Essay

- Kate Chopin wrote for a reason and with a sense of passion and desire. She lived the way she wanted to and wrote what she felt, thought, and wanted to say. Kate wrote for many years and her popularity was extreme until critical disapproval of her novel, The Awakening, a story that portrayed women’s desires of independence and control of their own sexuality. Most men condemned this story, while women applauded her for it. Kate wrote with a sense of realism and naturalism and she created a voice that is unique and unmatched....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Kate Chopin]

Research Papers
1558 words (4.5 pages)

The Awakening Essay

- Edna Pontellier's so-called "awakening" is her realization that she is a disposable object in her environment, the patriarchal Creole society of the 19th century. She slowly recognizes in The Awakening that she has never been honest with herself about her true feelings and desires, and grows to understand that a woman in her lifetime will never be seen as an independent person capable of making decisions independently. However, her "awakening" is false; though she makes these realizations, she can not in the end handle her new vision of independent life, and continually places herself in the realms of male dominance by the situations she creates....   [tags: American Literature]

Research Papers
587 words (1.7 pages)

The Awakening Essay

- The Awakening “Edna began to feel like one who awakens gradually out of a dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the realities oppressing into her soul.” (Pg. 42) In Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening the constant boundaries and restrictions placed on Edna Pontellier by society will lead to her struggle for freedom and her ultimate suicide. Her husband Leonce Pontellier, the current women of society, and the Grand Isle make it evident that Edna is trapped in a patriarchal society....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
960 words (2.7 pages)

Related Searches

” (Patrsn, Out Of A Convention of Awakening, np) Patterson describes Leonce has having self-pity due to his empowererment. With the privileges of wealth and social standing comes self-debasement. Leonce is so caught up in his own ideals that he fails to see his reaction to his wife, and children. He is caught in turmoil between society and having no other way out. “Then Mr. Pontellier got up, saying he had half a mind to go over to Kliens hotel and play a game of billiards. (Chopin, 174)” Leonce does not spend time with his family while at the summer cottage, having never cultivated intimacy with his children and wife, Leonce would rather be with the boys, having fun, doing his own thing, leaving all the everyday responsibilities to his wife, or hired help. Sommerer iv Leonce is out of his element when not doing business. While at home Leonce expects his wife to be attentive to his every word, treating him more like a prospective business partner than her husband. Leonce does not accept Edna’s lack of attention, and gets at her the only way he can, through her children. Leonce has a chance to vent his discouragement toward his wife. “He thought it very discouraging that his wife, the sole object of his existence, envinviced so little interest in things which concerned him and valued so little his conversation. (177)” “He reproached his wife with inattentions (178)” It is obvious that Edna’s inattentions where of Leonce and not the children. Leonce wanted to get at his wife from her lack of interest in his time at Kliens. This behavior is somewhat indicative of a selfish person, looking to his own needs, or someone who does not have a clue about intimacy. “After he reproaches Edna he goes outside and smokes a cigar like it was the most natural thing in the world to do. (178)” The real event is that Leonce has gotten even with his wife, for her inattention to him. Later the next day Leonce feels somewhat guilty for his outburst towards his wife “He had regained his composure which seemed to have been somewhat impaired the night before. (179)” Leonce knows that he acted emotionally as “being out of sorts” describes. Leonce does not tell his wife Sommerer v anything, but later sends her a gift package as if to make up to her what had happened. Leonce was in turmoil, regarding his actions, although Leonce is still choosing to remain aloof towards Edna. How generic, sending a gift with out a word of apology. Leonce has no idea how badly he has behaved in sending a gift without a word of apology; it is as though he were trying to mend a business relation. Leonce’s whole character is that of a man who has no intimacy with wife or children. A successful business is what he loves, what has become his whole life. Leonce's only reason for marrying was to help him in his business, stable married man, father, and beautiful obedient wife. Leonce has another lover, his business. Leonce is so worried that his business will suffer if Edna leaves the house, he wrote writes to tell him she is leaving the house. Leonce immediately writes a letter of “unqualified disapproval and remonstrance. (316)” Leonce is not thinking about what this action will do to his reputation. No Leonce is thinking about “his financial integrity (316)” Leonce demonstrates again the lack of intimacy for his wife, were his business is concerned. Leonce is afraid if this gets out that his business will suffer. Leonce strategically makes a plan to save face and gives Edna “minute instructions-to a well-known architect concerning the remodeling of his home, changes which he had long contemplated, and which he desired carried forward during his temporary absence (316)” Leonce is a self-absorbed businessman. Leonce believes, that he adores his wife and children. What he adores is what they do for him in his business. A Sommerer vi good reputation went a long way during the 1800's in which he lived. Leonce is quick to remedy any obstacle that will get in the way of his business. Leonce is a man of the 1800’s through and through. Chopin has given a glimpse of the businessman of the 1800’s. Alcee a single man who lives life as he pleases. Alcee has chosen to become a rogue of society, not adhering to the social norm that most men in that time period adhered to. “On one end of the socio-political spectrum is the unmarried Creole man who shares an intimate moment with a married woman, an experience that inspires a physco-sexual awakening in both. Introduced as a special rebel, this Creole bachelor has created for himself an unconventional public image, which separates him from the more conventional Creole men. In fact, his unconventionality serves as a stimulus for the awakening in the woman he encounters. (Brown, Awakened Men In Kate Chopin’s Creole Stories, np)” Alcee wants the freedom to do what he wants. He seems to be a man of means and so does not have to work in order to have material possessions. On the contrary, “…and inquired if he were related to the gentleman of that name who formed one of the firm of Laitner and Arobin, lawyers. The Sommerer vii young man admitted that Laitner was a warm personal friend, who permitted Arboin’s name to decorate the firm’s letterheads and to appear upon a shingle that graced Perdido Street (307-308)” Alcee had income from a law firm for which he did not work. Alcee was a 19th century playboy, while living in an 18th century society. Alcee had a reputation among the Creoles. “Now if I were like Arobin – you remember Alcee Arobin and that story of the consuls wife at Biloxi (201)” Alcee seems to focused his attentions on Edna and then pursues her, with no regard for her reputation Alcee instinctively knows when a woman is not content with her place in life. Alcee uses his charm and understanding friendship to gain the trust of these women. Alcee takes them out every night to the races, the club, or just for a drive. Alcee gives them his attentions with out demanding payback. This behavior is not uncommon with men who consider themselves a Lady’s Man. “His hand had strayed to her beautiful shoulders, and he could feel the response of her flesh to his touch he seated himself beside her and her lightly upon the shoulder. “I thought you were going away, “ she said, in an uneven voice. “I am, after I have said goodnight.” “Goodnight,” she murmured. He did not answer, except to continue to caress her. He did not say good night until she had become supple to his gentle, seductive entreaties. (315-316)” Sommerer viii Alcee had his reputation for being with married women. Alcee chooses women who are married, leaving him with no responsibility for their welfare when he was finished with them. Alcee is concerned with conquest. It is as if Alcee wants to live up to his reputation, to show that he can. Alcee was an exciting man to be with, preferring the game of seduction to the actual seduction itself. Robert Lebrun is a most complex individual. He spends summers on Grande Island with his mother and brother. Robert is infatuated with the married women at the cottages. “Robert…..had constituted himself the devoted attendant of some fair dame or damsel. Sometimes it was a young girl, again a widow; but often as not it was some interesting married woman. (185)” Robert is a good friend to these women. Robert is never taken seriously by the married women though. “It was understood that he had often spoke words of love and devotion to Madame Ratignolle, without any thought of being taken seriously. (186)” Robert wants to be taken seriously, knowing what it would mean to the woman. Robert is trying to fulfill a secret desire, what to become in this life. Robert knows his intentions go on deaf ears, until the day that Madame Ratignolle talks with him about Edna. “His faced flushed with annoyance and taking off his soft hat he began to beat it impatiently against his leg as he walked [“Why Sommerer ix shouldn’t she take me seriously?” he demanded sharply. “Am I a comedian, a clown, a jack-in-the-box? Why shouldn’t she? You Creoles! I have no patience with you! Am I always to be regarded as a feature of an amusing programme? I hope Mrs. Pontillier does take me seriously. I hope she has discernment enough to find in me something besides the blaguer. If I thought there was any doubt-“] (200)” Robert is awakened to the idea that Edna may take him seriously. Why would Edna’s friend tell him this if something had not been said? Robert is starting to think about “what if.” Robert’s infatuations are stirring in him a desire to find the right path and, now there are two paths to follow. Robert’s intentions were quite never real to him, until that day when Madame Ratignolle had spoken of Edna. Robert laughs about it at first, and even assures Madame Ratignolle, that “there is no earthly way of Mrs. Pontillier ever taking me seriously (201)” Robert does the proper thing at first, then he cannot help but being near the object of his desire. “Robert would stay away from Edna sometimes an entire day, then redouble his devotions as if to make up for lost time. (211)” Robert can not stay away from Edna, he has become to infatuated with the idea that Edna has taken him seriously. Robert was more a friend to Edna than Alcee, for Edna’s children adored Robert (199). Robert was a kind soul, and yet, there is nothing kind in his motivations toward Edna. Robert is stuck, he continues his friendship with Edna, but things start to change for him. He realizes that he is in Sommerer x love with Edna, a married woman. This realization leads Robert to go to Mexico. Robert knows that nothing will ever come of the relationship so he leaves. Robert has chosen to do the right thing and get away from the desire of his heart. Robert cannot be near his desire and he thinks that by leaving to go to anther country that will help him. Robert is quite mistaken though. Robert’s desire for Edna brings him back to the city. Robert cannot bear to be away from Edna, and he cannot bear to be near her. Robert is confused by his feelings; he seeks out a friend, someone whom he can talk with. Robert is quite taken back when the object of his desire is at the same place he has gone for refuge. Robert wants so much to tell Edna of his feelings for her but cannot permit himself to do so. Roberts feeling betray him and he finds himself getting anxious and wanting to leave the company of his beloved Edna. Robert uses an excuse to keep from staying with her (325), then sees the hurt look and changes his mind. Robert cannot bear to hurt Edna. Robert has elevated Edna on a pedestal of total morality, and feels that he has no right to be with her. Robert is truly a gentleman, yet when he realizes that Edna has changed toward her ideas and has become friends with Alcee, Robert feelings suddenly start to change, even unknown to him. Robert proclaims his love for Edna, his desire to marry her, thinking that this is what Edna would want. Sommerer xi [“You have been a very, very foolish boy, wasting your time dreaming of impossible things when you speak of Mr. Pontellier setting me free! I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, ‘here Robert, take her and be happy, she is yours,’ I should laugh at you both.” His face grew a little white. “What do you mean?” he asked. (339)] Robert is on an emotional roller coaster ride. Edna has proclaimed her love for him, as he has for her, yet, this new idea that has come out of Edna is making Robert wonder. He is still deeply moved by this acceptance of mutual love. Robert’s desire is like a storm that cannot be quenched. Robert does not care what Edna is saying Robert wants her. The knock on the door brings Robert back to his senses, slowly at first, and then Robert knows what he must do. Robert believes that Edna and Alcee have become lovers. Alcee’s picture was there, Alcee comes there while Robert is there, and the evidence is overwhelming. Robert sees a change in Edna, yet he cannot escape the passion that he feels for her. Robert begs Edna to stay with him, she does not. It is here that Robert reevaluates what he wants and what he is doing. Robert has finally chosen the right path for himself. Being the devoted friend that he was Robert leaves a two-line note to Edna, and goes back to Mexico. Robert made the right choice; he is a true 1800’s man. Sommerer xii Kate Chopin shows the men of that time era in which she lived. She has given glimpses of what life would be like which each type of man. These are only Three of the characters in The Awakening, Chopin has created many men in her short stories as well. Mr. Pontieller, Alcee Arobin, and Robert Lebrun, were all men of that time period, but just as now were all unique and different. This story has a tragic ending for more than the heroine, but as for the men as well. Mr. Pontieller is the least effected emotionally by his wives dealth, although sympathy for him is overwhelming in the way of having had so tragic a loss, suicide or not. Mr. Pontieller will certainly find the way to profit from Edna’s indiscretion, as he has in the past. Mr Pontieller will remarry as soon as the proper mourning period has passed. Leonce has his two sons to think about, they will need a mother. Meanwhile Leonce’s mother will keep the boys with her so Leonce can conduct business as usual. Alcee will truly miss his friend in only a way that he can. Alcee will mourn her loss for a while, then his attentions will be drawn to some other woman, and Edna will be long forgotten. Robert will take it the hardest, as he truly loved her. Robert will not blame himself totally, but will harbor some guilt. Robert will mourn Edna’s loss and not listen to gossip of mental instability from others as they talk about her. Robert will take a long time to find another love, but eventually and without understanding why, he will find the love of his life, thinking on occasion of Edna.



Works Consulted Byrd, Linda J. PhD: “Maternal Influence and Children in Kate Chopin’s Short Fiction. “ 1999 Domestic Goddess Editor, Kim Wells August 23, 1999 Online Internet, October 28, 2000 Out site * Llewellyn, Dara: “Reader Activation of Boundaries in Kate Chopin’s “Beyond The Bayou” Studies in Short Fiction, Spring 1996 Vol. 33 Issue 2 EBSCOhost Full Display, Online Internet October 30, 2000 Dillingham, Thomas F: “Kate Chopin Reconsidered (Book Review)” Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies, August 2000 Vol. 31 Issue 2 EBSCOhost Full Display, Online Internet October 30, 2000 Lewis, David and Mathews, Jennifer: “Kate Chopin A Woman Ahead of Her Time (1850-1904) “December 1999 Community College of Southern Nevada Online Internet November 11, 2000, Out Site * http://www.angelfirecom/nv/English243/Chopin.html Treu, Robert: “Surviving Edna: A Reading of the Ending of the Awakening” College Liturature, Spring 2000, Vol. 27 Issue 2 Online October 30, 2000 Longman, Addison Wesley: “Kennedy & Gioia Literature 7th Edition,” Literature Online Kate Chopin Biography, Online November 11, 2000 Out Site* Li-Dai Lu, “The Awakened One” 1998 Domestic Goddess Editor, Kim Wells August 23, 1999 Online October 28, 2000 Out Site* Platizky, Roger: “Chopin’s the Awakening,” Explicator, Winter 95, Vol. 53 Issue 2 EBSCOhost Full Display Online October 30, 2000 Wilson, Robert W: “Feminine Sexuality and Passion: The Storm” October 22, 1992 Online November 16, 2000 Out Site* Works Cited Brown, Pearl L: “Awakened Men in Kate Chopin’s Creole Stories” ATQ, March 99 Vol. 13 Issue 1 EBSCOhost Full Display Online October 30, 2000 Chopin, Kate: “The Awakening and Other Selected Stories,” The Modern Library 1993 Patterson, Katherine: “Out of a Convention of Awakening: Defining A Space Beyond Awareness,” Feminist Issues, Fall 1991, Vol. 11 Issue 2 EBSCOhost Full Display Online October 30, 2000

Return to