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Creole Society in The Awakening
Transcript of Creole Society in The Awakening
was written between 1897 and 1899
This is within the Victorian era (1837-1901)
Shows the social constraints of women in the Victorian era
Women were to be docile and domestic— to raise children and submit to their husbands
The Ideal Woman
Adele Ratignolle is the ideal Creole woman. She is a devoted wife and mother and lives to serve her family and society. She is completely content living this lifestyle.
Ratignolle kept up the hobby of playing the piano because it "makes her home more attractive"
She is described as the "mother-type"
Women were encouraged to express politeness and etiquette through their dress, hobbies, and speech.
Men were the dominant head of the household and expected the women to care for the children while they provided financially for the family.
Wives were treated as possessions
"Mr. Pontellier was very fond of walking about his house examining its various appointments and details, to see that nothing was amiss. He greatly valued his possessions..."
Etiquette and Behavior
Etiquette and behavior played a big part in society
Creoles grew up with religion (Catholicisim)
Creoles were considered elite members of society and celebrated French culture and mannerisms
It was important to be as proper as possible, otherwise it would be offensive
The Awakening accurately depicts Creole culture and is a strong representation of society in the 1890s. With the main theme of the novel revolving around women's individuality and independence, Chopin uses Edna as a foil of the Creole culture. Chopin describes Creole women, personal relationships and etiquette throughout the novel accentuating Edna's dramatic awakening.