Wrongs Of Women And Awakening The following paper is in regard to Mary Wollstonecrafts novel Maria, or the Wrongs of Women and Kate Chopins novel titled The Awakenings. The two stories have a similar plot and both discuss the oppression of women in the institution of marriage. This paper will include how the two main characters in each story, Maria (in Maria) and Edna (in The Awakenings) challenge the oppressive ideology by finding a new love and how they also encountered problems as long the way. Ednas Marriage It was when the face and figure of great tragedian began to haunt her imagination and stir her senses. The persistence of the infatuation lent it an aspect of genuineness.
The hopelessness of it colored it with the lofty tones of a great passion. (Awakenings, 1026) A passion that ultimately lost its novelty and was allocated to the shelf that held obscure yet relaxed delightful remembrances. The tragedian keeps fellowship with a visiting cavalry officer and an engaged gentleman. Though, in reality, the gentleman is probably no longer engaged, he will remain so in the mind of Edna Pontellier: one of the images of the infatuations of a little miss.”(1026) With respect to her marriage to Leonce Pontellier, Edna is inhibited, not with the man himself, but with the concept he represents. When leaving Mississippi on Leonces arm, she defied her familys wish that she marries a non-Catholic. Cast to that equation a healthy dose of flattery from her intended and their union is as good as cemented. This is how Edna comes to be ensconced in the inescapable institution of marriage.
One would presume that the speaking of the vows would discontinue her youthful allure, but that is not the case. Both the holy bounds of wedlock and the remonstrations of society hail to constrict her. Edna Pontellier experiences one last great infatuation. However, this beat upon her soul reverberates into a feeling that far surpasses what she had previously thought to be the climax of her fate. (1026) The single-tired fantasies of her youth are replaced with a sentiment that matures in nature as her awakening proceeds.
Edna realizes that her marriage is not making her happy anymore. She no longer wants to be treated as property. You are burnthe added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage, (1014). Edna is upset; every thing shes longed for has become nothing but a joke. She soon begins her so-called feminine protest by not responding to her husbands questions.
She said nothing, and refused to answer her husband when he questioned her. (1017) She begins to find herself by realizing her position on earth as a human being, rather then a piece of her husbands property. This realization is done by the feelings her had for Robert. Robert it seems made her feel human. In short, Mrs.
Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her. (1022) Marias Marriage In the primary stages of the novel there is not very much description of Marias marriage to George. The novel starts off with Maria thinking about her child and she is in her chamber in the madhouse. Immediately we are informed of her feelings for her husband, Was it not to effect her escape, to fly to the succour of her child, and to baffle the selfish schemes of her tyrant her husband? (8) Primarily, the reader is uniformed of exactly what type of marriage was possessed by the couple. The only aspect that is clear is that Marias husband was able to convince society that Maria was mad and she was put into the madhouse and he was left with their children and all her money and possessions. It is clear that Marias problem with the marriage was that she wasnt being treated equally, Was not the world a vast prison, and women born slaves.
(11) It seems that Maria is not bothered by her marriage being a failure; there is more evidence that she misses her child and is deeply wounded by that fact that her baby will not grow up with a mother as she did, The loss of her babe was the tender sting; against other cruel remembrances she labored to steel her bosom; (14). It is only later on in the story that Maria opens up about what happened to her marriage. She explains how they grew apart and how much of the growing apart had to do with money, I tried now to improve my husbands tasteand all the charms of youth were vanishing with its vivacity. (77) The commonality between Maria and Edna is that they were both unhappy with their marriages because of the disgraceful way they were treated within them. In Marias case her husband was able to put a stop to her protest by sending her to the mental institution but in Ednas case she drives herself to her death before she can even be put in one.
Another similarity amongst Maria and Edna is the fact that their children mean a great deal to them. They are both concerned with being proper mothers but are both in positions were they are unable to meet up to their standards. Ednas Journey Upon the occasion of a summer escape to the Lebrun family pension on Grand Isle, Edna finds herself the object of anothers affection. Most of those having stayed at the pension before assure that the young man, Robert Lebrun, is notorious for becoming a fixture to a different woman at Grand Isle each summer. In this particular season, Edna is the sole recipient of his company.
Together, they bathe at the shore and tour the sights. Robert is a constant companion, whether it is to retrieve a shawl or to lend himself as an easy conversationalist. They seem to compliment each other: each experiences the most pleasant moments when in the others company. Edna becomes more and more at ease being in the company of a man other then her husband. Their intimacy is so apparent that at least one observer wonders if something more then a friendship is brewing. The angelic Adele Ratignolle voices her opinion that should Robert not quit in his attentions, she (Edna) might make the mistake of taking you seriously.
(1027) At this, the defendant fires back with an uncharacteristically sharp retort: Why shouldnt she take me seriously? I hope she has discernment enough to find in me something besides the blagueur. (1027) From inference of remarks made about past events, we can gather that Robert has not felt so deeply for any of the other women to whom he has attached himself in years past. However, things may progress no further than this point of casual friendship. Edna has always been a proprietary being. At this junction she could not fathom a betrayal of her filial responsibilities, though she has begun to question the state in which her life caries on. A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her, – the light which, showing the way, forbids it.
(1022) Marias Journey Marias journey is much longer and harder then that of Ednas. Since she has been denied any access to her baby and she is put in a dismal, discouraging chamber she a great deal of irrational emotions she had to overcome before jumping into another relationship. Besides the fact that she was still legally married and unable to start another relationship on the legal grounds of adultery. When Maria reads the books that Jemima lend to her, she seems more then happy to know that there is someone in the institution with the same tastes as she. She even ponders the thought of them being together before they even meet or converse, Of what use could I be to him, or her to me, if it be true that he is unjustly confined? (20) It is evident that she automatically relates to him by hearing that he is in the same boat as she is, and she jumps to the thought of escaping together.
Once again Maria is discouraged when she realizes that she is expecting too much from this unknown (20), She was ashamed at feeling disappointedand how difficult it was for women to avoid growing romantic, who have no active duties or pursuits. (20) Maria, at first seems to be saddened by the writing to Darnford, its almost as if it brings out the wretchedness of the chamber and her life living in it, Writing to Darnford, she was led from the sad objects before her, and frequently rendered insensible to the horrid noises around herto the grand source of human corruption.” (25) As time surpasses Maria and Darnford begin to see each other and it seems as though Marias perspective of the asylum is not as dismal as when she was first rendered there. She begins to feel strong emotions for Darnford as he does for her. Darnfor …