Commentary on Passage from Chopin's "The Awakening"

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Often, people can say different things in different ways, yet they are trying to illustrate the same point. For example, to explain a certain process, one person may use analogies to other similar processes, another person may simply explain the mechanics of the processes, while a third may act the process out. One can also combine all these methods in one to give an effective explanation. Similarly, authors use many different techniques to establish one purpose. In this passage, Chopin achieves her goal of defining Edna Pontellier as a woman who is the opposite of what society expects her to be, an ideal mother-woman, through the description of character action, Edna's interaction with other characters, and the use of organization and …show more content…
Later Madame Ratignolle walks down the hall with "the grace and majesty which queens are sometimes supposed to posses," reinforcing her image as a typical high class woman. Also supporting this image is the author's description of her actions as she walked with "grace and majesty." The metaphor to a queen reinforces Madame Ratignolle's appearance as a high class woman. This quote also shows her obedience to society because she has qualities which certain people are "supposed to possess," not qualities which she herself wants to possess. Her children are so excited to see her that they "clung" to her, showing that Madame Ratignolle is such a good mother that her children are more than delighted to see her. Madame Ratignolle also took one of her children from the nurse, showing her eagerness to be with her children, especially because the doctor had instructed her to not to even lift a pin, but she made an exception for her children, placing them above her own health. She took this child "with a thousand endearments" and "bore it along in her own fond, encircling arms," once again exemplifying her love for her. She is so eager to see her children that not only does she take from the nurse, but she embraced them and comforted them with her "encircling" arms. This description of Madame Ratignolle as the epitome of mother-women provides as a comparison to Edna who is the opposite. Edna does not spend her time sewing; a pastime expected of Victorian women. And

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