There are several contrasts between the two relationships. These are partly due to the personalities of all persons involved, the goals of both relationships, and the way they treat one another.
Adele Ratignolle is a traditional Victorian wife. She is compliant with the expectations bestowed upon the women of her time. She was the “angel in the household,” which is a nineteenth century term commonly applied to the “role” of women in life. As such, Adele was a nurturer whose duties were to admire her husband, tend to her household, nurture, and love her children. This is evident throughout the novel, and she and Edna even get in an argument on whether a woman should ever sacrifice herself for her children. Therefore, since the Ratignolles adhere firmly to the social expectations of the families of their time, we can conclude that their marriage is harmonious, mutually respectful, and, perhaps, it may even be a happy one.
On the other hand, there are a couple of unique situations...
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