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[Jay] Awakening Quotes
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[Jay] Awakening Quotes

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  • 1. P6“He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it?”
  • 2. P6“He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it?”
    This quote describes what kind of mother Edna Pontellier is.
    Though she cares for her children, she desires a life that is not
    constrained by filial obligations, a life contrasting that which Leonce
    Pontellier desires of his marriage. Consequently, the exposition for the
    feminist issue unfolds in the novel.
  • 3. P8 “The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels”
  • 4. P8“The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels”
    This quote describes the ideal woman; The mother who is accepted in the social norm.
    The passage starkly contrasts the images of these women with Mr. Pontellier’s disdain for Edna’s
    apparent shortcomings in being a proper mother and wife.
  • 5. P13“She stood watching the fair woman walk down the long line of galleries with the grace and majesty which queens are sometimes supposed to possess. Her little ones ran to meet her. Two of them clung about her white skirts, the third she took from its nurse and with a thousand endearments bore it along in her own fond, encircling arms. Though, as everybody well knew, the doctor had forbidden her to lift so much as a pin!”
  • 6. P13“She stood watching the fair woman walk down the long line of galleries with the grace and majesty which queens are sometimes supposed to possess. Her little ones ran to meet her. Two of them clung about her white skirts, the third she took from its nurse and with a thousand endearments bore it along in her own fond, encircling arms. Though, as everybody well knew, the doctor had forbidden her to lift so much as a pin!”
    Edna’s characterization of Adele
    reveals the maternal qualities that she
    herself is devoid of.
  • 7. P20“She was fond of her children in an uneven, impulsive way. She would sometimes gather them passionately to her heart; she would sometimes forget them. The year before they had spent part of the summer with their grandmother Pontellier in Iberville. Feeling secure regarding their happiness and welfare, she did not miss them except with an occasional intense longing. Their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed and for which Fate had not fitted her.”
  • 8. P20“She was fond of her children in an uneven, impulsive way. She would sometimes gather them passionately to her heart; she would sometimes forget them. The year before they had spent part of the summer with their grandmother Pontellier in Iberville. Feeling secure regarding their happiness and welfare, she did not miss them except with an occasional intense longing. Their absence was a sort of relief, though she did not admit this, even to herself. It seemed to free her of a responsibility which she had blindly assumed and for which Fate had not fitted her.”
    Her romantic ideals have become invaded by her children, and she despises the responsibilities that accompany motherhood. She finds relief in their absence because those moments allow her to indulge in her fantasies.
  • 9. P 42 “Raoul had been in bed and asleep for two hours. The youngster was in his long white night gown that kept tripping him up as Madame Ratignolle led him along by the hand. With the other chubby fist, he rubbed his eyes which were heavy with sleep and ill humor. And then took him in her arms, and then seating herself in the rocker, began to coddle and caress him, calling him all manner of tender names, soothing him to sleep.”
  • 10. P 42 “Raoul had been in bed and asleep for two hours. The youngster was in his long white night gown that kept tripping him up as Madame Ratignolle led him along by the hand. With the other chubby fist, he rubbed his eyes which were heavy with sleep and ill humor. And then took him in her arms, and then seating herself in the rocker, began to coddle and caress him, calling him all manner of tender names, soothing him to sleep.”
    Adele is assuming the responsibilities
    Edna should be keeping, emphasizing their
    contrasting personalities.
  • 11. P51“I don’t know what you would call the essential, or what you mean by the unessential,” said Madame Ratignolle, cheerfully; “but a woman who would give her life for her children could do no more than that – your Bible tells you so, I’m sure I couldn’t do more than that.”
  • 12. P51“I don’t know what you would call the essential, or what you mean by the unessential,” said Madame Ratignolle, cheerfully; “but a woman who would give her life for her children could do no more than that – your Bible tells you so, I’m sure I couldn’t do more than that.”
    Edna’s conversation with Adele highlights the disparity
    in their mentalities. Where Madame Ratignolle glorifies the position
    of women as mothers whose duty it is to bring up proper children,
    Edna seeks something else in her life, longing to recapture the romantic
    and ethereal experiences she had when she was younger.
  • 13. P60“She was moved by a kind of commiseration for Madame Ratignolle, - a pity for that colorless existence which never uplifted its possessor beyond the region of blind contentment, in which no moment of anguish ever visited her soul, in which she would never have the taste of ‘life’s delirium.’”
  • 14. P60“She was moved by a kind of commiseration for Madame Ratignolle, - a pity for that colorless existence which never uplifted its possessor beyond the region of blind contentment, in which no moment of anguish ever visited her soul, in which she would never have the taste of ‘life’s delirium.’”
    Edna resents what she perceives as Madame Ratignolle’s
    Mundane life. She describes her friend’s life as “blind contentment”
    because, although she concedes happily to her role as a mother and a wife,
    she can no longer enjoy and suffer the intricate emotions associated with
    an uninhibited romantic freedom.
  • 15. P61“There’s Madame Ratignolle; because she keeps up her music, she doesn’t let everything else go to chaos. And she’s more of a musician than you are a painter.”
  • 16. P61“There’s Madame Ratignolle; because she keeps up her music, she doesn’t let everything else go to chaos. And she’s more of a musician than you are a painter.”
    This quote discloses Adele’s position in the feminist/ freedom issue. She accepts the reality of a male dominated-society, but does not disregard the position of women in the human order, allowing her to retain a romantic aspect to her life while remaining happily married.
  • 17. P121“Still she remembered Adele’s voice whispering, ‘Think of the children; think of them.’ She meant to think of them; that determination had driven into her soul like a death wound---but not to-night.”
  • 18. P121“Still she remembered Adele’s voice whispering, ‘Think of the children; think of them.’ She meant to think of them; that determination had driven into her soul like a death wound---but not to-night.”
    Adele’s voice in Edna’s head echoes her inner mother, whom she has neglected and shunned all this time. In her final acts Edna assumes motherly responsibilities for the well-being of her children.
  • 19. P123“The children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her; who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul's slavery for the rest of her days. But she knew a way to elude them.”
  • 20. P123“The children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her; who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul's slavery for the rest of her days. But she knew a way to elude them.”
    This quote betrays Edna’s disdain for being a mother.
    She feels that it inhibits her freedoms, leaving her
    to face the realities of motherhood.
  • 21. P124“She thought of Léonce and the children. They were a part of her life. But they need not have thought they could possess her, body and soul.”
  • 22. P124“She thought of Léonce and the children. They were a part of her life. But they need not have thought they could possess her, body and soul.”
    At the verge of death, Edna denounces the role designated
    to her by society. She acknowledges her family’s presence in her life,
    but does not develop any further relationship with them, declaring that
    her husband and children’s expectations of her could not subjugate
    her will.