By: Alan Eugene Sims, Jr. Awakening by Kate Chopin- How Marriage Can/Should Work Marriages in the 1990's have become uncommon, or they become unstable as the relationship between the individuals progresses. The book Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, that was written about a woman named Edna Pontellier's sexual awakening shows repeated examples of how a marriage should and should not work. Her marriage to Leonce Pontellier shows that marriage needs understanding of feelings between husband and wife, mutual effort from the individuals, and sexual connection. The Pontellier's marriage shows that without these key aspects, a marriage will not work.
They especially show that by not understanding one another's emotions, prosperous matrimony does not exist. In the Awakening, Leonce and Edna Pontellier often fight, or Leonce feels one way about a situation while Edna looks at it differently. In an early instance in the book, Mr. Pontellier makes Edna cry when he says that their son Raoul is running a fever. Leonce reprimands her, saying that she does not take care of the kids.
He feels he should not have to stay at home and take care of the kids while attending to his business too. Mrs. Pontellier was brought up in Bluegrass Country in Kentucky, a society that is radically different from the Creole community. When her kids are sick or when they fall, they do not come running to their mother. Adele Ratignolle is the perfect mother-woman, or the mother that gives all and everything to her kids.
Edna does not try to be the perfect mother-woman that her husband expects her to be. Mr. Pontellier also shows that he does not understand his wife's feelings when he goes to Dr. Mandelet He asks the doctor for advice, but Leonce cannot even explain the problem that he sees in Edna. Due to Leonce and Edna Pontellier's constant confusion of feelings, their marriage does not work. In marriage, there should be a sexual connection between husband and wife.
When Edna moves out of her house in New Orleans, she moves into a place called known as the Pigeon House. She encounters an affair with Alcee Arobin, which makes her happy. Her affair with Alcee was a very delicate subject in the book, but she finally gave herself to Arobin. Edna spent endless nights with Leonce, but the book quotes that she would not go to sleep until she encountered Arobin's warm embrace. Edna also shows that a marriage needs sexual relations by her love of Robert.
Even though she was not married to him, she was still in love with him. Robert left her because he knew he would make a mistake by staying at Grand Isle, the summer resort. Edna committed suicide because she could not have Robert to hold and to love. This shows that bad things can happen if there is no intimate connection between lovers.
Even more important than a relationship having an intimate connection is the mutual effort of both individuals. Edna has violent feelings that Leonce Pontellier does not understand. He goes to see Dr. Mandelet, and asks him for his advice. This incidence shows that Leonce is very willing to change his relationship, but he needs help.
Leonce also shows that he wants his marriage to work, when he sits outside one night while Edna lies on the hammock. Edna locks up her feelings and never tells Leonce what she is thinking about. If Edna showed that she cared about her kids more, that would make a major difference. The Pontellier's marriage goes on with many misunderstandings.
Leonce and Edna Pontellier's marriage goes on with many mishaps. They try to make things work by having different aspects that a marriage should have. Without understanding one another's feelings, mutual effort from both individuals and a sexual connect they could not make things work. The Awakening displays how a marriage should not work; by reading this book, marriages in the 1990's might work more often. 318.