Léonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband in The Awakening, is a conservative man in every regard. His focus is on business and appearances, and he lacks imagination and creativity. His traditional views on gender relations revolve around a fixed idea of separate spheres. Business, finance, and important decisions are all part of the male world. Women, in his view, should be limited to the domestic domain. He is somewhat concerned about his wife's parenting, as shown by his criticism when he is certain that Raoul has a fever and objects when she disagrees (chapter 3).
He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it? He himself had his hands full with his brokerage business.
Léonce’s major preoccupation is his reputation, in regard to both his personal honor and his business success. In Léonce’s view, the way Edna behaves and carries out her maternal and wifely duties is a reflection of his status. While they are on vacation, Léonce primarily socializes with men from his club, such as by playing cards.
Once the family is back from Grand Isle, Edna is affected by Robert’s imminent departure. Léonce expresses his disapproval of her changing behavior. On one Tuesday, she goes out instead of performing her customary routine of receiving visitors (chapter 17). When Léonce finds this out, he worries about the repercussions on his business, and rebukes her for doing “such things” as going out on reception day:
Why, my dear, I should think you'd understand by this time that people don't do such things; we've got to observe les convenances if we ever expect to get on and keep up with the procession.