How does Kate Chopin uses the characters in The Awakening to cast Edna Pontellier's desires in sharp relief?

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Kate Chopin primarily uses Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz to show the limited options for women, and by extension for Edna, in late nineteenth-century Southern society. Adele is the perfect "mother-woman," a role for which Edna feels utterly unsuited, even though she has two children. Adele is totally dedicated to her husband and children. In the first chapters of the novel, set in the summer in Grande Isle, we learn that Adele is pregnant and already knitting winter clothes for her children. Adele's labor and the birth of her child late in the novel reaffirm for Edna how little she feels connected to the roles and expectations of a mother.

Mademoiselle Reisz, on the other hand, is a single woman who dedicates her life to her art. She is a respected musician but is also seen as unpleasant and unattractive. She is not in any romantic relationship and has no children. The novel implies that women must choose one or the other path: single life with independence and interests or...

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