Essay on Women: Life Isn’t Fair

Essay on Women: Life Isn’t Fair

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Throughout the centuries, women have been relegated to roles as mothers and housewives. Any women who do not conform to society’s chauvinistic and harsh rules suffer alienation and are considered to be sluts or unlovable independents. These unfair tenets imposed by society do not allow women to be free in how they live. After experiencing an “awakening”, Edna Pontellier struggles to find her place in a society that does not allow for women to be anything other than compliant wives. She cannot see herself as another submissive woman in her Creole society; rather, she would like to choose her own path. Kate Chopin, in The Awakening, illustrates that women are unable to live their lives as they see fit through Edna’s struggle to cope with those choices that her oppressive society has presented to her.
Despite the rigid traditions of her society, Edna Pontellier attempts break free from her role as a wife and mother in search for autonomy, but, as a result, she is rejected by society and left unsatisfied. While she would like to be more independent, Creole society dictates that women should be mothers who devote their lives completely to family and duty. First, Chopin shows that there is an “absolutely inescapable link—basic, natural, and powerful—between the female identity and motherhood” to illustrate how women are bound to society’s belief that women must be mothers; Chopin does so by explaining that Madame Ratignolle, a friend of Mrs. Pontellier who she met during the summer, is always pregnant and therefore always connected to her children (Skaggs 90). Later she imparts that the typical women that summer in New Orleans “were women who idolized their children, worshipped their husbands” (Chopin 10). Her purpose in conveying thi...

... middle of paper ...

... because of the strict rules placed upon them, women are unable to live as they would like to live.

Works Cited
Bogard, Carely Rees. “‘The Awakening’: A Refusal to Compromise.” The University of Michigan Papers in Women’s Studies. 1977. Gale. Online. 28 January 2010.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Bantam Classic, 1981.
Elfenbein, Anna Shannon. “Kate Chopin’s The Awakening: An Assault on American Racial and Sexual Mythology.” Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. (2003). Gale. Online. January 30 2010.
Malzahn, Manfred. “The Strange Demise of Edna Pontellier.” Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. 2002. Gale. Online. 28 January 2010.
Muirhead, Marion. “Articulation and Artistry: A Conversational Analysis to The Awakening.” Southern Literary Journal. 2000. Proquest. Online. 29 January 2010.
Skaggs, Peggy. Kate Chopin. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1985.

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