Analysis of the Awakening from Marxist Perspective
In The Awakening, by the author Kate Chopin can be analyzed from the Marxist perspective by the powerful ones being the men. The men are powerful because society portrays them as the head of the household, meaning its a patriarchal society. Society thinks that men should rule over their wives and have them under their control. The men display their power when their wives don’t do what they want.
For example, the husband of Edna, Leonce showed that power when he told Edna to come inside after she refused to leave the hammock several times. Society defined women as powerless by being submissive and attending their husbands and kids. The society tells the women to be wives and mothers before being independent. Most of the women have established with this view of women that they often submissively or happily play this role. For example, Adele seems to enjoy taking care and pleasuring his husband and children. She sees nothing wrong in this role and she in fact takes it in with pride.
There is alienation in the powerless’ characters by the unmarried women and unhappy wives. In this case it’s Edna, a discontented wife, the widow, and Mademoiselle Reisz that are all seen weird by the society of both men and women. There is also unequal redistribution of wealth in the novel based on one’s race and ethnicity.
The main characters Pontelliers, Ratignolles, and Lebruns in the novel are Creoles and they all seem to be wealthy based on their homes, possessions, activities, and vacations. They are the less fortunate than other races, such as the mulattoes, the blacks, and the quadrooms, who all have domestic jobs under the Creoles. It means that those races are being portrayed like women inferior people. All the characters have their own amount of wealth and status based on race and ethnicity. In the case of Edna’s husband, Leonce he has time for his own, such as reading newspapers and go to the club. He has personal maids, cooks, and quadroon nurses at home. He also has paintings and sculptures at his house.
For example in the chapter it says that The Pontelliers possessed a very charming home on Esplanade Street in New Orleans. It was a large, double cottage.. The softest carpets and rugs covered the floors; rich and tasteful draperies hung at doors and windows
Also, in chapter , Mr. Pontellier reads the names of his clients’ wives, which might indicate that he is a businessman who may work for finance or investment. He is also overbearing because he orders his wife around when she doesn’t do as he wishes (Hammock incident). He shows detachment from his family by instead of spending time with them, he goes to the club, he doesn’t even care that Edna hangs out with Robert.
Also, he is demanding with Edna, because he scolds her for not leaving an excuse for not answering the Tuesday calls. Another powerful figure is Robert Lebrun, he is a Creole and he also appears to be wealthy in the novel. His mom owns and manages the cottages on Grand Isle where the Pontellier family stays during summer. So the wealth is in his family, but he doesn’t send his mom money from Mexico.
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