The Awakening Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

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Discuss the relationship of Leonce and Edna in Chopin's The Awakening with examples.

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Edna Pontellier, the protagonist of Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, is married to Léonce Pontellier and has two kids with him. Léonce is a rich businessman who makes enough money for his family and, thus, fulfills his roles and duties of a father and husband.

And the ladies, selecting with dainty and discriminating fingers and a little greedily, all declared that Mr. Pontellier was the best husband in the world.

If we consider the ideology and mindset of people at those times, we can comfortably say that he belongs to the category of the perfect husband. In modern times, of course, the definition of a perfect husband or partner has changed drastically. And Léonce is nowhere close to being called a good husband.

We see that Léonce treats Edna...

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laurto | Student

Edna is married to Leonce. Leonce is wealthy and he owns a business in New Orleans. He is considered to be a great husband in the community, because of all the gifts he gets Edna. Edna does not love him. Leonce expects Edna to not cheat on him and to stay by his side, so he does not question her about anything. These were things that were expected of a wife during this time, but Edna was not a normal wife. He acts like Edna is his property, instead of an actual person. Edna is from Kentucky so she does not fit in with the other Creoles, like her husband. This is evident throughout the novel.