Why did Edna marry Leonce in The Awakening and is he a model husband?

Expert Answers info

Ellen O'Keefe, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookPh.D. from University of Miami (Fla.)


calendarEducator since 2016

write739 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and Law and Politics

When we first meet Edna and Leonce Pontellier, they seem to have a typical marriage of the late nineteenth century. He goes to work and to the club, while Edna spends her time mostly with other women and with her children. Edna is surprised to find herself upset one night when Leonce wakes her to take care of the children, one of whom he insists is sick, after he's returned home from the club. She recognizes that the scene is not out of the ordinary but for some reason, she feels devastated about it this time. Her awakening has begun, and she slowly becomes conscious of her unhappiness in her marriage and in her position as a woman in this society.

As far as classifying Leonce as the ideal husband, it seems that he is considered so by the community in which the Pontelliers live. When he sends some chocolates to his wife, "the ladies. . . . all declared that Mr. Pontellier was the best husband in the world. Mrs. Pontellier was forced to admit that she knew of none better." The word "forced"...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,063 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write2,689 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write5,649 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,941 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial