Thursday, May 30, 2019
The Awakening :: essays research papers
The AwakeningIn the novella The Awakening by Kate Chopin, ii supporting characters, Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz, represent two distinctively different females of the Victorian Age. Madame Ratignolle serves as societys idea of the ideal woman. There is nothing subtle or hidden about her charms her beauty is all there, flaming and presumable the spun-gold hair that neither comb nor confining pen could restrain the blue eyes that are like nothing but sapphires two lips that pout, that are so red one could esteem of cherries or some other delicious crimson fruit in looking at them. Her beauty is complemented by her extreme devotion to her family. They come firstborn in her life. She is the quintessential mother-woman. Mother-women are women who idolized their children, worship their husbands, and esteem it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels. She gave up her individuality by taking marriage vows and became one half of the Ratignolle family. The Ratignolles understood each other perfectly. If ever a fusion of two human beings into one has ever been accomplished on this sphere it is surely this union. Madame Ratignolle has surrendered to her husbands world as proper wives at the time were expected to do. She obeys her husband and assumes the responsibility of keeping him satisfied. She would not consent to remain with Edna when Monsieur Ratignolle was alone, because he detested above all things being alone.While Madame Ratignolle is the ideal Victorian woman, Mademoiselle Reisz is a disagreeable little woman, no longer young, who quarrels with almost everyone, owing to a temper which is self-assertive and a disposition to trample on the rights of others. When Edna asks the proprietor of the neighborhood grocery store if he knew where Mademoiselle Reisz had moved, the man answers that he thanks heaven that she had leftfield the neighborhood, and was equally thankful that he did not know where sh e had gone. Mademoiselle Reisz is in no way the beautiful Aphrodite that Madame Ratignolle is. She is an old woman who is past her physical prime, although the lector gets the impression that, during her prime, her looks still left something to be desired. The community snickers at her because she wears false hair has poor taste in fashion. Mademoiselle Reisz has always lived on the top floors of apartment buildings, which takes her uttermost away from reality and the problems of others.