Why does Mr. Pontellier visit Dr. Mandelet in The Awakening?

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Mr. Pontellier visits Dr. Mandelet to talk about his wife's strange ideas and behavior. Mr. Pontellier is concerned about Edna's solitude, changed routines, and refusal to go to her own sister's wedding.

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In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Léonce Pontellier goes to see his friend and physician Dr. Mandelet because he is concerned about his wife, Edna. Mr. Pontellier believes that the doctor is a wise man, and he is hoping that his friend can give him some insight into what is happening with Edna.

Mr. Pontellier begins by telling Dr. Mandelet that he does not know “what ails” his wife. The doctor is surprised, for he saw Edna just a week ago and thought she was “the picture of health.” Mr. Pontellier agrees that she “seems quite well,” but she is not acting well. She is “odd,” he says, and “not like herself.” Edna is not keeping up the house. Her “whole attitude” has changed. They quarrel frequently, and he is feeling “devilishly uncomfortable.” Mr. Pontellier is also concerned because his wife has got “some sort of notion in her head concerning the eternal rights of women.”

Mr. Pontellier continues that Edna is no longer associating with her friends and acquaintances and is spending much time alone, “moping” and staying out after dark. Edna will not even go to her sister's wedding, for she insists that it is “one of the most lamentable spectacles on earth.”

Indeed, Mr. Pontellier is completely bewildered, and he has no idea what to do next. The doctor tells him to leave Edna alone for a while and promises to pay her a visit. He really thinks that Edna's new “mood will pass” in time, and Mr. Pontellier must just “have patience.”

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