In the first chapters of the Awakening, by Kate Chopin, what potentials for conflict are revealed through the presentation of characters and place?
The distance, both physical and emotional, of Edna and Leonce, are indicators of ensuing conflict. While summering as a family, Leonce commutes to work during the week, leaving Edna to her own devices. Even when he is there, they do not spend time together. Edna and Robert spend much of their time talking and laughing. Leonce does not seem to mind at all, and even seems relieved for Edna to have someone to talk to.
This negligence will come to hurt him later in the novel. Leonce treats them as children, chastising them for sunning themselves out in the heat of the day, rather than worrying about the two of them spending so much time together.
Leonce spends his free time and the main house with the other men. The affection and camaraderie that Edna and Robert have will grow into a relationship that causes Edna's marriage to crumble.
The end of the nineteenth century was a turn from the traditional to the beginnings of women becoming more independent. They had been subjected to the traditional subservant roles of women as housekeepers, mothers, and wives. The presentation of the wife was such. When Mr. Lebrun is introducted as a young and vibrant man, there is a potential for conflict in that one can envision the obvious, which as a chance for their to be romance between the two.