Example research essay topic Mademoiselle Reisz Alcee Arobin
Edna feeds off Arobin's lust for her like a “narcotic” where “ his presences, Unequivocally, Reisz is brilliant and provides much pointed advice for those her marriage with Leonce yet upsets us with her lust with Alcee and. Kate Chopin's novella, 'The Awakening,' depicts the sexual awakening and affair of Edna Pontellier. Through Alcee Arobin, Edna's lover, Chopin interrogates. Edna's love for Leonce, Robert, and Arobin in The Awakening Edna never felt comfortable in her relationship with Leonce. This man was Alcee Arobin.
Example research essay topic: Mademoiselle Reisz Alcee Arobin - 10,368 words
This love was not the kind that Edna was longing for either. This was something that was foreign between her and her husband. This affair was important to her becoming an individual. The entire pre-Robert time was in preparation to finding him. She decided to close her house up and move to a smaller, less desirable one. The fact that it is less desirable is a key factor.
This makes it impossible to assume that she was moving out to live a better material life. She decided that she would sacrifice her good life and possessions in order to fully acquire individualism. This character is what made it impossible for Edna ever to have him as her own. Robert refused to get in a relationship with someone that was already married.
His class and self-power doubled not only as what attracted her to him, but also what ultimately drove her to take her life in the end. Encountering Robert is where the title of the book arose. She feels like one who awakens gradually from a dream to the reality of life. This is when and where she realizes what is available and that she is incapable of going back to what she had previously.
The finished drawing does not resemble Adele, but she likes Edna's work anyway. Edna herself is not satisfied; she crumples the drawing. Adele's and Edna's children interrupt the threesomes conversation. Edna hands some bonbons to her sons, but Adele affectionately gathers her own children into her arms.
Robert urges Edna to go for a swim. She complains that she is too tired, but eventually she gives into Roberts entreaties. He places her straw hat on her head and they move towards the beach. The Awakening is about Edna's dissatisfaction with the social constraints on womens freedom. Therefore, it is significant that it opens with two caged birds. Throughout the novel, Edna feels that marriage enslaves her to an identity she for which she is not suited.
The parrot is an expensive bird valued for its beauty. The mockingbird is fairly common and plain, and it is valued for the music it provides. These two birds function as metaphors for the position of women in late Victorian society. Women are valued for their physical appearance and the entertainment they can provide for the men in their lives. Like parrots, they are not expected to voice opinions of their own, but to repeat the opinions that social convention defines as proper or respectable.
The parrot shrieks Go away! These are the first lines of The Awakening, and they signal the essentially tragic nature of the novel. The parrot speaks French, a little Spanish, and a language which nobody understood. Again, the parrot serves as a metaphor for Edna's predicament. As she becomes more defiant, she voices unconventional opinion about the sacred institutions of marriage, gender, and motherhood.
Throughout the novel, Edna is misunderstood by her friends, lovers, and her husband. In a sense, she speaks a language that she can make no one understand. The tensions in Edna's marriage are apparent from the beginning. Leonce does not regard Edna as a partner in marriage, but as a possession. At the same time, he thinks of Edna as the sole object of his existence.
Obviously, his actions belie this belief. Leonce's beliefs about the role of women are strictly defined by Victorian social conventions. The ideal woman is what Leonce terms the mother woman desire nothing other than to to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels for their families. They are supposed to flutter about with extended, protecting wings.
The symbolic function of birds is extremely important in this passage. Women are not supposed to have wings to fly where they want, but to use in the service of their families.
They are supposed to sacrifice all their individuality and conform to the identity outlined by social convention. They fly according to the course predetermined by these conventions. The lady in black is an important symbol in The Awakening because she represents the ideal for the widowed woman.
Instead of embarking on a life of independence after fulfilling her duties as a wife, she devotes herself to a religiously devout life. In a sense, her absence of dialogue is like a vow of silence; she hardly exists as an individual. Adele represents the ideal woman in marriage.
She is constantly caring for an infant or planning on another one. Edna marvels at the permissiveness of Creole society because everyone, including women, can openly discuss the intimacies of life such as pregnancy, undergarments, and affairs. Men such as Robert can openly play at flirting with married women, and the women can openly flirt with him as well. However, despite this outward appearance of freedom, a strict code of chastity is imposed.
The freedom itself is permitted only under the expectation that no one seriously act upon it. Roberts affectionate attentions mimic the standard of courtly love, an essentially medieval concept. Courtly love is not a love that is consummated physically. Outside marriage, this is the only kind of love a woman can have without losing her social respectability.
A Creole husband is never jealous only when his right of exclusive possession of his wife remains unchallenged in any serious way.
Edna is slowly beginning to think of herself as an individual with a relationship to the outer world. The seductive voice of the sea leads her to moments of inward contemplation that have awakened her to vaguely disturbing realizations. Edna is generally reserved. Even as a child, she was aware of the tension between the outward existence which conforms and the inward life which questions.
During the summer, she has become more open because of her developing friendship the unreserved Adele. One morning, they go to the beach together. Edna wears a simple muslin and a straw hat, but Adele dresses more elaborately to protect her skin from the sun. At the beach, Edna removes her collar and unbuttons her dress at the throat. Two young lovers enjoy each others company while others swim in the cool water. The lady in black reads religious literature on a bathhouse porch.
Noting Edna's thoughtful silence, Adele implores her to reveal her thoughts. Edna replies that the sea reminds her of a day when she walked through a large meadow in Kentucky, spreading out her arms to touch the waist-high grass.
Edna imagines that she was avoiding her fathers stern Sunday Presbyterian services. She conformed to religion after her twelfth birthday, but this summer has revived the unguided, aimless, unthinking sensation she experienced in the meadow.
Edna and her younger sister, Janet, were never close. Her older sister, Margaret, was always occupied with the household duties after their mother died.
Edna's closest friend was a girl whose intellectual gifts Edna tried to imitate.
Discovery of one's own "Feminism" by Eric Singer on Prezi
She experienced intense, unrequited girlhood crushes on various men. She kept a photograph of a tragedian that she often kissed passionately. She married Leonce because he courted her earnestly and her father and Margaret were opposed to her marriage to a Catholic. Edna felt that her marriage would anchor her to the conventional standards of society and end her infatuation.
She is fond of Leonce, but he does not incite passionate feelings. She is uneven and impulsive in her affections for her children. When they leave to visit their grandmother, she is relieved because she is not suited to the responsibilities of motherhood.
She relates some of the things to Adele. She likes the freedom to express herself. Robert, followed by their children, interrupts the moment of intimacy between Edna and Adele.
Adele asks Robert to walk her back to her house. Adele warns him that Edna might take his attentions seriously.
Insulted, he asks why she should not take him seriously because he is not a mere passing amusement. She reminds him that he would not be the gentlemen everyone takes him for if he ever seriously courted married women.
He amuses her with a story of Alcee Arobin, who was such a man, and Adele quickly forgets Edna's susceptible nature. A few weeks after Adele's conversation with Robert, a large Sunday celebration takes place because a large number of visitors has come to the Isle.
The guests request that the fourteen year-old Facial twins play the piano. They are dressed, as usual, in the Virgin Marys colors because they were dedicated to her at their baptism.
As they play, the parrot shrieks. A small girl executes a flawless skirt dance while her mother watches with apprehension. Robert offers to request that Mademoiselle Reisz play for Edna. Miss Reisz is a middle-aged, unpleasant woman with a tendency to quarrel with everyone.
She is not a good-looking woman, and she has no taste in clothing. However, she is acknowledged as an exceptionally talented musician. She agrees to treat the gathering to a performance. Miss Reisz's music evokes a tumult of emotions in Edna, and she is blinded by tears. After she finishes her piece, Miss Reisz pats Edna's shoulder and states that Edna is the only worthy listener in the entire crowd. Nevertheless, her performance arouses everyones energy, and Robert suggests they all go for a nighttime swim.
During her six years of marriage, Edna did not see herself as an individual with desires and opinions of her own. However, the seeds for her rebellion against social conventions were already latent.
Even as a young child, she was aware of the tension between the outward existence which conforms and the inward which questions.
Her awakening to her own individuality consists of allowing the questioning inner self to direct her actions rather than conforming to outward expectations of feminine behavior.
Clothing is an important metaphor in The Awakening. It is important to remember that Victorian womens clothing was extremely confining. Therefore, it symbolizes the constraints of social conventions on feminine behavior.
It serves as a cage because it imprisons the feminine body and hinders freedom of movement. In the beginning of the novel, Edna is fully dressed. When she and Adele walk to the beach, Adele wears a veil, gloves, gauntlets, and elaborate ruffles in order to protect her complexion. She pursues the feminine ideal of beauty.
Edna, on the other hand, wears a much simpler muslin dress. Furthermore, she removes her collar and unbuttons her dress at the throat once they reach the beach. Edna's decision not to wear some of the more confining garments symbolizes her growing rebellion against social convention. The two young lovers are almost always represented in conjunction with the lady in black. Moreover, the young woman, Adele, and the lady in black represent the stages of a respectable Victorian womans life: The contrast between the lady in black and the young lovers has a symbolic relationship to the love between Robert and Edna.
The lady in black represents the logical conclusion to the conventional womans life if her husband dies first. However, there is no old couple to represent Robert and Edna's contented futures. Therefore, the lovers and the lady in black foreshadow the failure of their love.
Furthermore, there is no figure to symbolize the old age of the rebellious woman represented in Edna. The absence of this figure foreshadows Edna's suicide at the end of the novel. It implies that Edna must choose between conforming to social conventions or disappearing from the symbolic scene of the stages of a Victorian womans life. But Edna's life is full of repressed passion. She experienced a series of unrequited crushes. Perhaps she was afraid of her passionate self because she married Leonce in the middle of an infatuation with a tragedian.
She chose fondness for a husband and children rather than the violent emotions of passionate attachments. She clearly loves her sons, but she is not temperamentally suited to the dictates of conventional motherhood. In truth, there were few alternatives for Edna.
She could have chosen to follow her passions and suffered the loss of respectability or she could have chosen spinsterhood. The Facial twins were dedicated to the Virgin Mary at birth and they wear her colors. They symbolize the expected destiny for young Victorian girls: The twins and Adele also represent the purpose of an artistic education for women. They are not expected to be artists, but entertaining adornments for social occasions.
Adele does not play music for her own enjoyment, but to brighten her home. Like everything else she does, she plays music in the service of her role as wife and mother. Mademoiselle Reisz, however, is an artist. She plays music for her own enjoyment, and her skill far surpasses that of the twins or Adele. She defies social conventions because she is not married, she does not bother with dressing well, and she does not bother with being nice. Clearly, she and Adele are foils to one another because Mademoiselle Reisz is always dressed in black, but Adele is almost always wearing white, and both women become close friends with Edna.
The language describing the effect on Edna of Mademoiselle Reisz's music is almost sexual: Before, Mademoiselle Reisz's playing only evoked mental images, but within the context of Edna's growing rebellion, it takes on a more direct, powerful influence. Edna's response is connected with a series of awakenings she will experience throughout the rest of the novel.
It is connected to her sexual awakening, her artistic awakening, and her awakening to her individual identity. As the crowd makes its way down to the beach, Edna wonders why Robert has become more distant from her. She misses his constant companionship. Most of the people enter the water without a second thought. Although Edna has been unable to learn to swim all summer, she suddenly experiences the desire to swim where no woman has swum before.
Edna’s love for Leonce, Robert, and Arobin in The Awakening
She boldly enters the water, and everyone applauds her success. She swims out alone, but she looks back to the shore and realizes how far she has gone. She feels the presence of death and struggles back to the land. She dresses in the bathhouse, and Robert walks her home. She collapses into her porch hammock. In the silence, Edna feels an intense desire for Robert.
When they hear the swimmers returning, he bids her good-bye. Leonce returns and urges Edna to go to bed, but she wants to stay outside on the hammock. Her stubbornness irritates him. Neither direct orders nor tender entreaties can budge her, so he sits on the porch smoking cigars until just before dawn. Resigned, Edna gets up from the hammock and enters the house. She asks Leonce if he will be coming inside soon.
He replies that he will once he finishes his cigar. Edna wakes in the early morning. The two lovers and the lady in black, with her prayer book, are awake, but almost everyone else is still asleep. For the first time all summer, Edna sends for Robert by asking one of Mrs. Lebrun s servants to wake him. Neither she nor Robert thinks it is an extraordinary turn of events.
They join some of the other islanders for a boat ride to the Cheniere to attend mass. They exchange fanciful banter and enjoy one another's company as always. At the service, Edna feels oppressed, so she stumbles out of the church. Robert follows her and accompanies her to Madame Antoine's home to rest.
Once Robert leaves her alone in a small room, Edna removes a good deal of her clothing and washes up at a basin. After a long sleep, Edna exits the room to find Robert outside alone. She eats some of the dinner that Robert has prepared, and they return to the Isle late in the evening. When Edna returns, Adele reports that Edna's younger son, Etienne, has refused to go to bed.
Edna places him on her lap to soothe him to sleep. Leonce had been worried when she did not return after mass. After learning that she had merely had gone to sleep at Madame Antoine's home, he went to Klein's hotel to discuss business with a broker. Adele promptly returns home because her husband hates to be left alone. Robert bids her good-bye after the put Etienne to bed. Edna remarks that they have been together all day. Waiting for Leonce to return, Edna realizes that she is different from the person she was before the beginning of the summer.
She wonders why Robert did not stay with her because he did not seem tired. Edna has been unable to learn to swim because she is afraid of abandoning herself to the seas embrace. Often the sea is described as the voice of seductive longing. It is possible that learning to swim is a metaphor for a sexual awakening.
Furthermore, for Edna, learning to swim is akin to learning to walk. When she descends to the beach, Edna is like a little tottering, stumbling, clutching child, who Edna's awareness of herself as an individual with her own opinions and desires takes the form of a rebirth. Victorian women were often treated as helpless children, leaning on their husbands for their lives.
During the first six years of her marriage, Edna resisted Leonce's will in futile little ways, only to conform to his authority after all. Edna shouts, Think of the time I have lost splashing about like a baby! Her statement contains a dual significance. Literally, the statement refers to Edna's first successful attempt to swim on her own.
Symbolically, the statement refers to Edna's prolonged childhood as a Victorian woman. Edna's success at swimming also symbolizes her desire to rebel against social convention. Filled with daring, she wants to swim where no woman had swum before. However, there is a sobering side to Edna's bold attempt to move out of traditional waters.
Edna's symbolic rebellion literally gets her in over her head. She swims further out alone, and the dread of death seizes her. She struggles back to the safety of land. If we read Edna's actions symbolically, her rebellious will is not paired with the staying power required to withstand the consequences of defying social conventions.
Her failed attempt to swim where no woman has swum before foreshadows her eventual suicide. Edna's growing sexual awakening becomes apparent when she lies in her hammock while Robert sits on the porch with her. They say nothing, but the silence is pregnant with the first-felt throbbing's of desire. Again, the language suggests a rebirth. During Edna's six years of marriage, she has been the object of her husbands desires. In general, respectable Victorian women were not supposed to experience sexual desire of their own.
Edna is becoming aware of her own sexual feelings, and they are not directed at her husband. The very possibility of these feelings threatens the conventional structures of gender. Leonce's return from the beach adds a sobering tone to Edna's series of awakenings. She wants to lie in the hammock, enjoying her fanciful reveries, but he expects her to follow him inside the house. In many ways, Leonce functions as a rude awakening for Edna. When he returned from Klein's hotel earlier in the novel, she was reluctant to wake up to listen to him.
In response, he concocted a non-existent fever for their son and criticized her for her habitual neglect of their children. After the nighttime swim, Leonce awakens Edna from her reverie to demand that she obey him and go to bed. Edna's husband has twice awakened her from her brief escapes from the reality of social conventions to demand that she conform to them. Leonce stands guard over Edna as he would a prized possession.
Eventually, the pressing reality of her situation sinks in, so she retires to bed. She asks Leonce, Are you coming in? He states that he will go to bed when he finishes his cigar. This scene demonstrates that the conventional structure of power is restored for the time being.
Leonce delivers the orders, and Edna obeys. He has the right to decide when he wishes to go to bed, but she does not. Edna rebels against religion when she attends church with Robert the next day. She feels the weight of oppression, and decides to leave rather than recovering her composure.
Her rebellion is significant because religion has long functioned as a justification for assigning women to secondary status to men. She chooses to sleep instead, and this time it is apart from her husband. She suffers no rude awakening, and she gets up when she chooses.
One evening at dinner, several people inform Edna that Robert is leaving for Mexico that evening. Robert read to her all morning without mentioning Mexico once. The dinner conversation degenerates into stories and questions about Mexico and its inhabitants. In her anguished state, Edna can think of nothing to say.
After dinner, Edna occupies herself with housework. Lebrun sends a message that she wants Edna to sit with her until Robert leaves, but Edna decides to stay home. Robert visits Edna to bid her good-bye for an indefinite period of time. They skirt the issue of their mutual attraction.
She asks him to write her and he promises to do so. She sheds tears when he leaves for New Orleans to pack his bags. Edna often visits Mrs.
Lebrun to capture some of Roberts presence. She reads the letter that he sent to his mother before he departed from New Orleans for Mexico and experiences momentary jealousy that he did not write to her. Everyone thinks it is natural that she should miss Robert. She induces Leonce to tell her about his encounter with Robert in New Orleans before he left for Mexico.
She does not think there is anything wrong about pressing Leonce for information because her feelings for Robert are nothing like her feelings for her husband. She considers her emotions her own. Edna and Adele have a heated argument when Edna says that she would not sacrifice herself for her children. Edna explains that she would give her life for her children, but she would not give herself. Adele laughs and says that she could do no more than give up her life for her children.
Shortly before the summers end, Mademoiselle Reisz asks Edna if she misses Robert. Her question revives anew the knowledge that Roberts absence has removed the happiness from Edna's life. She gives Edna her address in New Orleans and urges Edna to visit her.
Edna and Leonce's house in New Orleans is lavishly furnished. Leonce takes pride in his possessions and he is more generous than other husbands when it comes to domestic articles. Edna usually receives visitors on Tuesday.
A few weeks after returning to New Orleans, she and Leonce sit down to dinner, and Edna is wearing ordinary house dress rather than her usual Tuesday reception dress. Leonce learns that Edna was not at home to receive visitors. He becomes angry that she left no excuse for her callers. He fears that her neglect of her social duties will jeopardize his business relationships with the husbands of her visitors.
He complains that the cook has produced a substandard meal, and leaves to take dinner at his club. Edna throws her wedding ring to the floor and shatters a glass vase on the hearth after Leonce leaves.
After Edna discovers that Robert is leaving, she returns to her home and exchanges her dinner gown for a comfortable, commodious wrapper. Edna's shedding of more layers of constricting Victorian dress occurs in conjunction with another rebellion against social convention.
Lebrun requests Edna's company, conventional rules of behavior require Edna to be polite and visit. She would have to dress again, and she does not want to reassume her constricting clothing.
Edna's conflicted farewell scene with Robert raises questions regarding the nature of his love for her. Robert never addresses Edna directly by her first name. He says, Good-by, my dear Mrs. His language implies that his dilemma is largely one of who has the right of possession over Edna. By calling her Mrs. Pontellier, Robert names Edna as the property of Leonce Pontellier. But he calls Edna my dear Mrs. His one expression of affectionate attachment implies a desire for a claim of possession over Edna.
Edna, on the other hand, flies in the face of convention and demands the intimacy they have established. She calls him by his first name when she asks, Write to me when you get there, wont you, Robert? The nature of Edna's love for Robert also requires some attention. While she tearfully watches Robert leave the Isle, she finally recognizes the symptoms of infatuation which she had felt incipiently as a child, as a girl in her earliest teens, and later as a young woman.
Earlier in the novel, Edna remembers her girlhood infatuations as temporary passions that seem like adolescent crushes. Regardless of their nature, Edna's feelings for Robert are intimately connected to her series of awakenings. Through them, Edna has come to recognize her emotions as her own.
She does not feel remorse at inciting Leonce to talk about Robert because she has come to believe she has a right to experience her secret emotions. She has begun to think of herself as an independent individual.
She declares to Adele that she would give her life and her money for her children, but she would not give herself. Adele does not recognize the distinction. Edna herself does not completely understand her meaning.
What she means is that she refuses to efface herself as an individual and grow wings as a ministering angel even though she loves her sons and social conventions demand such a sacrifice.
After returning to New Orleans, Edna suffers another rude awakening at Leonce's hands. Everyone considers Leonce a generous husband because he spares no expense in furnishing his home. However, he does not do it because Edna is the sole object of his existence, but for his own satisfaction.
He believes his satisfaction should be Edna's satisfaction. He loves to admire the things he acquires and places among his household goods, including his wife. Clearly, he regards the home and the furnishings as his possessions. For all the material comforts that Edna enjoys, her home is still a gilded cage.
Lebrun regard her parrot as a prized possession, Edna is Leonce's prized caged bird. Furthermore, his reaction to Edna's disregard for her Tuesday callers reveals more of his self-centered, controlling nature. He does not express concern that she might be unhappy. He worries only about how her actions affect his social standing.
Again, Edna's rebellion expresses itself through her clothing. She does not wear her Tuesday reception gown, but an ordinary house dress. She refuses to wear the constricting, elaborate clothing required for the social customs that restrict her freedom to dispose of her time as she wishes. Leonce's response to her rebellion is to awaken Edna to the reality of social conventions. He complains about the dinners quality and states that the cook is getting out of hand.
He says that everything goes straight to chaos if one allows the servants to run things the way they want. He adds that his business would go to chaos if he allowed his employees to run things the way they want. Edna becomes furious when she realizes that Leonce has been referring to her all along.
She is the one running things the way she wants, and she is causing the chaos he dislikes so much. Edna throws her wedding ring to the ground because it symbolizes her entrapment within constricting conventions. Her husband has just equated her status with that of a wayward servant or a paid employee.
He provides her with a lavish home, so she owes him her complete submission. The next morning Edna tries unsuccessfully to work on some sketches, so she visits Adele, whom she finds folding newly laundered clothing.
Edna mentions that she wants to take drawing lessons as Adele admires her portfolio. Edna gives some sketches to Adele and stays for dinner.
Edna's love for Leonce, Robert, and Arobin in The Awakening - SchoolWorkHelper
Edna leaves their home feeling depressed because the Ratignolles enjoy a perfect domestic harmony that she does not even want for herself. She pities their blind contentment. Edna discontinues her Tuesdays at homes and follows her whims and desires. Leonce is displeased that Edna is no longer submissive to his demands, and her neglect of her domestic duties angers him.
He wonders if Edna suffers from some mental disturbance because she is not herself. However, Edna is only becoming the person she has always been. She spends a great deal of time painting and walking about the streets. Edna decides to visit Mademoiselle Reisz, but she finds that she has moved. Lebrun, hoping that she has Mademoiselle Reisz's new address. Lebrun's younger son, answers the door.
He proceeds to relate a daring story about his exploits of the night before that entertains Edna despite herself. Lebrun remarks that she receives few visitors and that Victor has so much to occult him in New Orleans. Victor directs a knowing wink at Edna. Edna tries to maintain a matronly expression of disapproval. Victor relates the contents of Roberts two letters from Mexico. Edna is depressed to find that Robert enclosed no message for her.
Lebrun gives Edna Mademoiselle Reisz's address. Victor escorts her outside, and they exchange banter over his exploits. Mademoiselle Reisz mentions that Robert wrote her a letter that spoke only of Edna.
Edna begs to see the letter, but Mademoiselle refuses. Edna asks her to play her piano instead. Mademoiselle Reisz notes that it is late and asks Edna what time she must return home. Edna declares that time means nothing to her, so Mademoiselle asks her what she has been doing with her time. Edna confesses that she has been painting because she is becoming an artist.
Mademoiselle Reisz warns her that an artist must be brave, daring, and defiant. Edna persists in her request that Mademoiselle Reisz play for her and let her read Roberts letter and receives both favors.
The music deeply affects Edna, and she weeps as she did before in the presence of the pianists talent. She begs to visit Mademoiselle Reisz again, and the pianist tells her to come whenever the whim overtakes her.
Leonce consults Doctor Mandelet, his friend and family physician. Leonce states that Edna is not her usual self, and she seems to be taken with the idea of the rights of women. The doctor asks if Edna has been associating with a circle of women claiming to be intellectuals, but Leonce replies that she no longer receives her callers on Tuesday.
Instead she wanders the streets alone until nightfall. Doctor Mandelet questions Leonce regarding Edna's family background. Leonce assures him that Edna descends from a respectable Presbyterian lineage, although her father lost his Kentucky holdings by running race horses. Her younger sister Janet is a vixen, but she is soon to be married, but Edna refuses to go because she considers weddings a lamentable spectacle. The doctor states that women are moody and eccentric by nature. He assures Leonce that she will eventually return to normal once the whim has run its course.
He promises to attend dinner at the Pontellier home in order to study Edna inconspicuously. Before he departs, Leonce tells the doctor that he will soon be making a prolonged business trip to New York and asks if he should take his wife. The doctor replies that he should let Edna decide. Doctor Mandelet does not ask if Edna's condition involves another man because it would be improper. The growing contrast between Edna and Adele becomes apparent when Edna visits Adele.
As usual, Adele is occupied with some domestic duty. Edna asks for her opinion of her sketches, but she knows that Adele's opinion means nothing because Adele always says the right thing.
Edna wants to hear some encouraging praise because she wishes to pursue art seriously. She can count on Adele to say something nice about her work. Edna's decision to pursue art seriously is a rebellion against the conventional standards for Victorian womens education. The average art education for Victorian women was meant to teach proficiency, not to refine talent.
Adele, the feminine Victorian ideal, retains her musical skill to further serve her domestic role, not for her own enjoyment.