Creole Men In The Awakening
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Creole Men In The Awakening
In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening the characters of the Creole men are diverse and different as the character Edna.
Most of Kate Chopin’s stories center around a Woman unsatisfied with her position in life, while living in a man dominated society. The three main characters are typical men of that era. Chopin shows the diversity in each of those three characters. Roberts awakening, and the struggle to do what is the right thing. Alcee and how he is carefree and not concerned with society’s expectations of him, and so has a reputation. Mr. Pontiller, a business man first and foremost, with little left for wife and family.
Robert did the right and noble thing by leaving to go to Mexico so as to not have to see the object of his forbidden love.
Alcee see’s Edna as another one of his conquest, and does not give up, pursuing her at all cost. Alcee has not concern of what society thinks of him so he is able to do as he pleases.
Mr. Pontieller, while he believes himself to be a kind husband, is a typical businessman of the era. He wants his wife to obey him. He wants the perfect Creole wife, one who can help him excel in the business world he loves so much.
In exploring these three men in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, there are certain aspects of each, while different, the same. All live in the 1800’s were morale reputation was considered to be the utmost importance to the
businessman, yet, Alcee seems unconcerned with any morale or business responsibility. In exploring the character of Robert who seems to be at a crossroad in his life. Search for his fortune, find a wife, prosper and be respectable, or, do the unthinkable and follow his heart.
Creole Men In The Awakening:
Mr. Pontellier is the typical Creole husband and businessman.
“Leonce is convinced that fulfilling monetary needs excuses the paucity of time he spends with the children, never presuming that some needs cannot be monetarily satisfied: “He has his hands full with his brokerage business …making a living for his family on the street”(885)} Even to himself, Leonce’s thought smack of the self-pity of the empowered. Perhaps because he is aware of his own neglect, Leonce projects his guilt onto Edna, expecting flawless mammal performance on her part to remedy his domestic absence.” (Patrsn, Out Of A Convention of Awakening, np)
Patterson describes Leonce has having self-pity due to his empowererment. With the privileges of wealth and social standing comes self-debasement. Leonce is so caught up in his own ideals that he fails to see his reaction to his wife, and children. He is caught in turmoil between society and having no other way out.
“Then Mr. Pontellier got up, saying he had half a mind to go over to Kliens hotel and play a game of billiards. (Chopin, 174)” Leonce does not spend time with his family while at the summer cottage, having never cultivated intimacy with his children and wife, Leonce would rather be with the boys, having fun, doing his own thing, leaving all the everyday responsibilities to his wife, or hired help.
Leonce is out of his element when not doing business. While at home Leonce expects his wife to be attentive to his every word, treating him more like a prospective business partner than her husband. Leonce does not accept Edna’s lack of attention, and gets at her the only way he can, through her children. Leonce has a chance to vent his discouragement toward his wife. “He thought it very discouraging that his wife, the sole object of his existence, envinviced so little interest in things which concerned him and valued so little his conversation. (177)” “He reproached his wife with inattentions (178)” It is obvious that Edna’s inattentions where of Leonce and not the children. Leonce wanted to get at his wife from her lack of interest in his time at Kliens. This behavior is somewhat indicative of a selfish person, looking to his own needs, or someone who does not have a clue about intimacy. “After he reproaches Edna he goes outside and smokes a cigar like it was the most natural thing
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The Awakening, Edna, Kate Chopin, Frdric Chopin, Leonce and Lena
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