The Ideal Husband In Chopin's The Awakening

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The Awakening During the time in which “The Awakening” was written, the expectations of women and the limitations of law allowed them little or no independence. Women were expected to perform the social role of a doting wife and mother. As one of these women, Edna has little or no opportunity to express herself in the ways that she wanted to. It’s as though she is trapped in world where she doesn’t belong and can’t find any escape. She feels obligated to her husband and children. Eventually, this leads to Edna’s feelings of imprisonment within her marriage. She finds it difficult to satisfy her own wants and needs and is at a loss of what to do. As most husbands would, Leonce wants and expects Edna…show more content…
He’s honest and devoted and provides well for Edna and the children. Above all else, he is completely faithful. From the outside, it would seem as though Edna should be completely satisfied with her husband and lifestyle. However, Leonce doesn’t really seem have much real love for Edna. He is very short tempered and doesn’t have much patience for her. He looks at her almost as a possession, something that makes him look good. As stated in the novel, "You are burnt beyond recognition”, he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage" (pg. 4) To him, she’s just something he owns and has to take care of, nothing more. He may fulfill the marital contract between him and Edna, but he does not do so equally. He spends far too much time either at the club with his friends or away on some type of business. He may support his family financially, but he doesn’t devote enough time and emotion to them. Leonce is also not considered to be the most empathetic husband. He doesn’t understand Edna’s true feelings and emotions and really doesn’t make any effort to try. Because of this it can be seen how Edna is dissatisfied with her husband. This is apparent in the first scene when Leonce calls her to come to bed and she refuses him. This is her first act of defiance that eventually leads to more. For example, Edna speaks of her promiscuity to Robert and says “I suppose this is what you would call unwomanly; but I have got into the habit of expressing myself. It doesn't matter to me, and you may think me unwomanly if you like”. She eventually gets to the point where she doesn’t care anymore. She refuses to change herself in order to fit into the mold she has come to hate that society has created for
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