Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Solitude as the Consequence of Independence For Edna Pontellier, the protagonist of The Awakening, independence and solitude are almost inseparable. The expectations of tradition coupled with the limitations of law gave women of the late s very few opportunities for individual expression, not to mention independence.
Original cover for The Awakening in Adele Ratignolle is the perfect Creole woman — a loving mother and wife dedicated to making those she loves happy. Her constant entertaining and catering to the needs of those around her leaves Madame Ratignolle with little time to pursue her own interests; Chopin never indicates that Madame Ratignolle has any passions outside of her relationships.
In traditional Creole culture, this is the expected role that women should play. The Creole community relies on traditional roles for their close-knit society within New Orleans and their way of life on Grand Isle.
Mademoiselle Reisz is the polar opposite of Madame Ratignolle. Mademoiselle Reisz is a recluse who follows her own desires and passions with an obsession that her acquaintances see as selfish. Mademoiselle Reisz is unmarried and rarely seen interacting with people unless she is invited to play piano at a gathering hosted by someone else, such as the one the Lebruns host.
Her pursuit of music is her ultimate passion, and many admire her incredible talent, but her companions in this vacation spot have a hard time relating to her single-minded and unconventional pursuit and ostracize her because of it. Edna Pontellier falls in the middle of the spectrum set by these two women.
Her development into womanhood is hard to interpret because she is going through a period of self-discovery that causes all of her beliefs to change.
The uncertainty and adventure involved in her stereotype-breaking transformation is reminiscent of a self-involved teenager. Once in-tune with these emotions, however, Edna realizes how unhappy she is with her life and her marriage and seeks the aid of Mademoiselle Reisz, who may help guide her in satisfying her own personal desires.
What Edna soon finds out, however, is that the two women have completely different mindsets about the young man and while Madame Ratignolle treats him as a plaything, Edna has serious romantic feelings for him.
Madame Ratignolle cannot appreciate the things in life that do not benefit her relationships with other people, therefore not understanding the beauty or satisfaction that Edna finds in her art. The initial magnetic attraction that Edna has to Mademoiselle Reisz at the dinner party comes from the connection she feels to her artistic passion.
After leaving Grand Isle for the winter, Edna seeks out Mademoiselle Reisz multiple times, and only sees Madame Ratignolle in a social setting when Madame Ratignolle initiates the meeting.
This shift also coincides with her level of seriousness towards Robert because the only way that she can hear from him while he is in Mexico through the letters Robert sends to Mademoiselle Reisz. Suddenly for Edna, all of the things she desires for her new self are in the hands of Mademoiselle Reisz.
Even when away from Madamoiselle Reisz, Edna is consistent in her rejection of the Creole image of womanhood — rejecting the material things in her home that Madame Ratignolle would have admired and instead preferring her simple lifestyle in the pigeon house that she moves to signal her transformation.
She does not believe that total isolation is something that will be healthy for Edna, and does not want her to lose touch with all of her old life. Edna has all the ideals of the progressive Mademoiselle Reisz, but desires to connect with others in a way that Mademoiselle Reisz was unable to.
Edna may not have fully rebelled from society like Mademoiselle Reisz, but she opens her mind, recognizes the wrongs in her life, and speaks out against them. Edna arrived on Grand Isle for vacation with a closed mind and a timid nature, and under the friendly watch of Madame Ratignolle and the culture of comfort and openness of the island, she began to acknowledge her feelings Edna left Grand Isle, she was comfortable enough in herself to seek out the aid of Mademoiselle Reisz and actually articulate those new feelings and begin to act on them.The Second Great Awakening deeply influenced American cultural and social action because it challenged the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and helped to make American intellectual culture more optimistic.
The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening had a great influence on American colonies. The Enlightenment emphasized the power of human reason to shape the world, to better educate men and women.
The Great Awakening unified colonies, and also acceptance of religious tolerance. In The Awakening, producing real art requires holding a position outside the societal mainstream.
The lives of the two artists we see in The Awakening, Mademoiselle Reisz and Edna Pontellier, suggest that art requires a singular devotion that is impossible to have if also married. Culture: Ideas, the Arts, and Literature Continued Key Concepts & Main Ideas Notes Analysis The Second Great Awakening, liberal social ideas from abroad, and Romantic beliefs in human.
Mar 26, · In traditional Creole culture, this is the expected role that women should play. The Creole community relies on traditional roles for their close-knit society within New Orleans and their way of life on Grand Isle.
Mademoiselle Reisz is the polar opposite of Madame Ratignolle. AP US History Chapter Society, Culture, and Reform Flashcards. Primary tabs. View (active tab) Flashcards; Learn; Second Great Awakening: began among educated people like Timothy Dwight, changed to center around the audience, easily understood by the uneducated, offered opportunity of salvation for all, caused new .