Léonce, along with the other men in the Creole society, thinks of Edna, his wife, as a piece of property rather than his significant other. In the first chapter, when Edna arrives back at the summer cottage from the beach, Léonce remarks that Edna is burnt beyond recognition, while “looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage.” This description indicates the belief that women were not equal to men, as the men would not look at other men as a piece of property. After the Grand Isle community goes for a swim in the water, Léonce arrives home to find Edna lying in a hammock in the back yard. Léonce tries to persuade her to come into the house, using various reasons, such as “You will take cold out there,” and “The mosquitoes will devour you.” These reasons stem from a worry that one of his prized possessions, of which he tries to take good care of, will become ruined; not from a worry about his wife’s health in the story. When Léonce was describing Edna’s behavior to Doctor Mantelet, in ...
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...the barriers of society that occur because she is a woman. While society expects her to worship her husband and idolize her children, as Madame Ratignolle does throughout the novella, Edna wants to live a life where she is independent and free to live her life her own way. Edna stops accepting that she is Léonce’s property and that she has to focus on her children throughout her life. Memories of her past stir emotions in her that make her realize that she is not happy in her life. She makes changes in her life due to this idea, such as realizing she cannot give herself up for her children, leaving her house on her scheduled reception day, and buying a house that is hers and hers alone. Although she rebels against society by doing these deeds, she is not strong enough to break down the barriers she faces and thus kills herself in order to run away from her problems.
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