Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Live Blogging: The Awakening (Chapters 9-12)

I've been enjoying your discussions so far. Keep up the strong work, and remember that you're aiming to make at least five strong comments.

98 comments:

hannahs said...

I have a question. Is Edna's husband bothered by how much time Edna and Robert spend together?

Kjerstinl said...

One thing I want to know is why does the story keep mentioning "lovers" even though we don't know who they are necessarily?

jordanc said...

I don't think that Edna's husband really realizes how much time Edna and Robert spend together. I think if he did though, he wouldn't really care.

erikaw said...

Birds usually symbolize freedom and joy. The sweet sound of the birds chirping and their flight WHEREVER they want WHENEVER they want. :)

Kjerstinl said...

I think that in one sense that Leonce is alright that Edna spends time away because that gives him a reason to go away and spend time at the hotel.

chelseah said...

I think that her husband is bothered, he is just trying to deny it, so he isn't showing his true feelings. I personally think that it would be very hard to hide my feelings if I was in his situation, so I think we can assume that how much time they spend toghether is bothersome to him.

briang said...

Hannah, I've been wondering that since the begining of the book. Edna's husband never seems to care that she spends all this time not only without him, but with another man. However, I still don't entirely understand relationships in this society.

kyle said...

Hannah-
I think it is part of the culture, because Robert does the same thing every year with different women, so I don't think Her husband minds very much

DeclanH said...

I agree with Jordan. I think Edna's husband is pretty oblivious to all his wife's actions. He seems to take her for granted and acts like she basically doesn't do anything when he's no there.

Dan E said...

I think it is interesting the contrast between Mr. P and Adele and Mrs. P and Robert

zachf said...

I agree with Jordan, I think Edna's husband is blind to how much time Edna is spending with Robert. I think he could care less as long as he's satisfied with himself.

Laurab said...

I agree with Lane. Birds seem to represent being able to fly, but sometimes they don't use that ability. This is the opposite of Edna. She knows what she wants to do, but she can't do it. She doesn't have the ability to do what she wants because of society's rules.

CMeghan said...

Hey there Hannah!

I think that is a very interesting, insightful question.

I think Mr. Pontellier must notice the time that his wife spends with Robert, but I think a combination of "selectful" sight and what Mr. Pontellier believes/expects to be true make his vision biased.

jimmym92 said...

Kjerstin- it keeps mentioning lover's because there is not a specific love it is a general love

hannahs said...

Kjerstin- I looked at the lovers and the lady in black in the activity we just did. I think she believes her marriage is deteriorating, and when she sees the young lovers, her doubt in the success of their love and in love itself manifests into the lady in black. The lady in black slowly creeps closer to the lovers, as if she is draining their love, until there is nothing left but despair.

jordanc said...

Going off Declan, what makes Mr. Pontellier ignore what Edna is up to? Does he just not care or is he truly oblivious?

matt said...

hannah, the way I see it, as long as his wife if fufilling her wifely duties of cleaning and taking care of the children, Edna's husband doesnt really care as to who she is spending her time with. I think their marraige is now more of a formality than out of actual love

Laurab said...

Sorry, my comment didn't fit into the conversation very well :)

briang said...

My notecard, as you may have seen when I was in the front of the room was the uncanny. Mrs. Leclaire reminded me of the woman who wears black on the beach that keeps appearing. What does she represent and what qualities of the uncanny does she have?

Connor_J said...

I agree with Jordan. He seems to be gone so much that he doesn't really know what happens or what his wife does why he is gone. I don't think that Mr. P would mind, however.

Ty said...

Hannah- was wondering that as well because I think that I would questioin it if my wife was spending more time with some random guy than she was with me.

nathanm said...

I think the birds are symbolic of edna's desire to break free and "fly" if you will.

TomR said...

I agree with Meghan; even if Mr. Pontellier suspects some-thang going on with Edna and Robert, he expects that she will be faithful to him because she's supposed to be a prim and proper lass who doesn't go outside the bounds her husband sets for her.

CMeghan said...

Kjerstin

I think that the "lovers" are more of a symbol. They are two people who are so clearly happy, they are complete, and they are together. Because they do not need to hide anything, they stand out among the story of hidden impulses.

Kjerstinl said...

Hannah-

So do you think Edna notices the lovers or it's the narrator bringing our attention to them?

Dan E said...

I think an interesting connection can be made to To Kill a Mockingbord because birds both have symbolistic qualities and the things they represent relate. For those of you who have read it can you see the same connection?

kyle said...

Matt-
I think their marriage might be a formality to Mrs. Pontellier, but Mr. Pontellier still truely loves his wife as he sadi early in the book.

hannahs said...

Dan- I agree. It's almost as if Adele and Leoncewould be a better marriend couple than Edna and Leonce. Adele seems like the kind of wife that Leonce would want. She acts like a dainty woman, and she cares a lot about her children.

Laurab said...

I agree with Meghan. I think that Mr. Pontellier is finally realizing that his wife is spending a little too much time with Robert for it to be just a friendship. I think this is like Edna also. She is getting to the point where she is wondering if Robert only wants a friendship with her.

erikaw said...

hKari- how is black clothing a metaphoric representation and for what? :)

jimmym92 said...

Jordan- It could be a fear, that he doesn't want it to be true so he acts like it is not there and that it is not an issue and everything is as it should be.

chelseah said...

I agree with Meghan, I do think the "lovers" are more of symbols, rather than an actual situation. But on the otherhand, I think their "love" for each other is just as real as ever, so it is not a symbol of anything.

CMeghan said...

Going off of what is occuring in the inner circle...

Does ANYONE like/appreciate/respect the character of Edna?

DeclanH said...

Jordan-
I think it's a combination of the two. He doesn't seem to notice that anything is going on. But he's so oblivious that he has to partially be disregarding her. It's hard to believe that someone could be that oblivious.

ShannonH said...

I think that the birds do mean the freedom to leave and explore the world nathan, but I also think that that the birds really show how much Edna feels caged and trapped, because she wants to be so free and able to run, yet she is trapped, and seeing the birds fly free just renforces her desire to be free, and the realization of how trapped she really is.

zachf said...

Nate- Good call. I agree with what you said about the desire to be free like a bird. Birds have the ability to fly where they want when they want and I think Edna wants freedom from her obligations.

Blair said...

I am really confused on who is with who. With the exception of the married couples who share last names, I really don't know who are "lovers". Which has made the book somewhat hard to follow.

But, I don't think that Mr. P, knows or cares the whereabouts of his wife. I think that he just doesn't care, I think that he believes that his wife is not brave enough or totally withdrawn enough to act on the feelings she might have for Robert... if that makes sense

briang said...

I agree with Nathan. I believe the birds reprsent Edna's desire to break free and "flyaway". In a way, I think that we could interchange "flyaway" with "awakening". I think that Edna is trying to awaken from this nightmare she is living. In a way, breaking free, flying away, and awakening all represent and mean the same thing in this book.

Madisonm said...

Hannah and Meghan,
I think that Mr. Pontellier is very selective in what he chooses to aknowledge, maybe because he doesnt want to know what goes on between Edna and Robert, or because he really doesnt know. People tend to try and ignore things that they do not think are right instead of dealing with them. Maybe he feels that because he already notices so many flaws in Edna, as far as motherly and wife-like duties, that he doesnt want to think about her and Robert. He doesnt want to see what may be considered a problem, or a suspicious relationship between the two of them.

hannahs said...

Matt- I agree. As long as Edna does what Leonce wants, he doesn't really care what she does. How does this contradict his statement that she is his sole reason for existence?

Dan E said...

Jordan-
I think it is strange how this society works how the husband doesn't have to care. I think it is partly a reflection of the times, however I think if you look through a feminist perspective the men seem not to care and expect women to do what they are told. Many portrayals of the male role seem to be ignorant arrogant and evil.

Ty said...

Zach, do you think that Edna wants to be free from her husband so that she can be with Robert?

chelseah said...

This is an interesting topic of discussion-- what do you think her "awakening" was? Do you agree that it is decided by herself, or that others have an affect on it as well? What other symbolism can be taken from her "awakening"?

TomR said...

Meghan, I don't respect Edna at all. As I have said in previous discussions, I find her to be a completely helpless wimp. If Reisz can be free and happy, why can't she? The only limits that she faces are ultimately because she chooses to submit herself to them. Quite honestly, I loathe Mrs. Edna Pontellier, white clothes and all.

CMeghan said...

Kyle,

Does Mr. Pontellier's telling of his love make it true?

I think a lot of times, often in high school even, the word love is tossed about as though it meant nothing. I think Mr. Pontellier is tossing love around because he does not hardly KNOW his wife.

Can you love someone you don't KNOW?

matt said...

I'm not sure about the birds, I think they could symbolise the desire to fly away, but I also think that they symbolize that no matter how far you fly, you always have to come down and land

zachf said...

Ty- That's possible, I just think she wants to break the mold of her daily life.

Laurab said...

Dan~ What do you think the men will think when they realize that the women don't care, just like the men don't care. Will the expectations of society have to be changed?

Kjerstinl said...

Meghan. Do you think that Mr. Pontellier USED to know his wife? Because they fell in love when they met.

CMeghan said...

AMEN TOM!

I agree times fifty.

Hopefully I will see SOMETHING in her before the book is over.

jimmym92 said...

I just releated the drowning scene to her life and too this song by sum 41 in too deep it says
"I cant sit back and wonder why.
It took so long for this to die.
And I hate it when you fake it.
You cant hide it you might as well embrace it.
So believe me its not easy.
It seems that somethings telling me,

Cause Im in too deep, and Im trying to keep,
Up above in my head, instead of going under."
How do you think this song relates to Edna and her love life?

Ty said...

Zach- breaking out of the mold seems to be a reoccuring theme in the books we read. It reminds me of last year with "challenging the system". I just thought that this was an intresting connection.

kyle said...

Meghan-
It takes two to love, so I think he feels that there is love between them, and therefore, what he says is true to himself. I don't think there truely is love between them because Mrs. Pontellier doesn't feel the same.

ShannonH said...

Meghan~
Edna is almost childlike in her actions, acting on a whim and following all of her desires.She has just woken up to the world with Robert, and has almost been reborn, I think that you have to respect her character, becasue she has not sacrificed herself or her personality for the happiness of others. She is the classic feminist character, and is showing the power of strength and passion, two emotions and ideas that are uniquely a female characteristic. I think taht you have to respect her strength and passion, yet hate her for the neglect of her family and lifestyle, beucase every action affects every person in the book., don't ya think?

Connor_J said...

I agree with Madison. Mr. P could easily have heard about how his wife spends time with Robert from someone else. He may know but he probably chooses not to acknowledge it.

matt said...

meghan- I think that he is using the word love because that's what he has always used, since back when they were still in love. I think that the word has been so overused by the two that it has lost its meaning, and it's now kind of "stale"

CMeghan said...

Kjerstin,

In the book it says that Mr. Potellier "fell in love, as men are in the habit of doing." I took that to mean that he never actually loved her. There was no sympathy in their tastes, no compatibility...

I think they try not to know each other to avoid the realization of what would tear them apart.

Blair said...

I agree with Tom. I think Edna is putting her self in this situation. Eventhough she may feel confined by her husband there are other outlets for you to find happiness, and ways to get around it. I understand that love is important and being in a relationship where that love isn't there must be hard. But she seems like she relys to much on everyone else to fix her problems. If others are branching out from soceity than why can't she?

zachf said...

Good call Ty, I saw that too. Not conforming to societal norms is what many of these books have displayed even if it is not the major theme.

Dan E said...

Meghan
I think that the telling of his love does not make it true because in this time in society the male dominated the female and this novel is a story of how that was becomking outdated and words mean nothing it is actions.

Madisonm said...

Going off of Tom's comment:
I also seem to think of Edna as kind of a childlike figure throughout this story. She seems like she cannot think for herself, or is afraid to; she doesnt know how to feel or what to feel, or what she is supposed to feel. And she doesnt know what to choose to feel. I think she is so used to being told how she is; as a bad mother figrure, or whatever else. I think she has gotten so used to being told what kind of person that she is, that she is afraid to become who she actually is.

DeclanH said...

Kjerstin-
I think at some point he did have to know her because they did fall in love. Edna seems to be pretty helpless, but I don't think she would marry someone she didn't know at all. So I think they were in love at one point, but as time went on, they grew apart.

Laurab said...

Tom~ I agree with you. I think that Edna should be a little stronger, like Reisz is, if she is unhappy with her life, she should make her own rules. I hope that she realizes this in the rest of the book. So far, it just seems like all women are spineless amoebas who will go along to get along, even though they are unhappy, which bugs me a lot.

nathanm said...

I think the term love is used to describe merely physical attraction and not actual love.

zachf said...

Connor- Why does he have this denial of his wife being with another man?

jordanc said...

What makes Edna so helpless? Why is she afraid to break out of the "mold" ?

erikaw said...

Great text-to-text connection Meghan how do the women relate and how are the women different from each- other?

Ty said...

Zach, could this theme be so popular because even though they may show it or hide it, most people want to get away from their daily lives?

Hannah J said...

Jimmy-
Nice connection! I think that song relates to her love life because she's letting herself get in too deep and being indecicive with her desires like they were talking about on the inner circle. Like with the ocean scene, she wanted to keep up the excitement that she was feeling, yet she doesn't know what she wants.

ShannonH said...

Yeah, why do you think we read the Yellow Wallpaper before starting the book? What connections are we supposed to draw from the story into the Awakening? What characters connect most in both stories?

Laurab said...

What do you guys think would happen to our society if all women were thought of as helpless beings today? What would change?

Kjerstinl said...

I agree with you Declan. But one thing I wonder is how deep he did know her. Did he know her on the surface only, or did he see her inside? I think that if he did, he would have seen that she did not TRULY love him.

zachf said...

Nathan- I agree the term love is used way too freely. The book saying "lovers" could be describing people on a first date.

Hannah J said...

Emily-
I like your comment about why the book is called The Awakening. I agree with what you said! I think that she is trying to find herself and eventually she will 'awaken' and really realize who she is.

briang said...

I agree with Fitz. Love has a strong meaning, but just like any other thing, when over used it loses its power and its meaning. Today, we see the idea of love being tossed around like its nothing. Divorces occur so often in this day in age that now its just a common thing. They say they love eachother because thats how they have always felt a marriage should be. Now though, their love is weak.

Connor_J said...

I completely agree with Meghan. It sounds as though Mr. and Mrs. P's marraige is not the only one that is suffering. Although we have not seen many other examples of marraiges, Mr. and Mrs. P's marraige sounds steryotypical.

jimmym92 said...

Jordan- it is not acceppted for her to break out of the mold. It would be like if someone decided that they were going to take their house and break it off from the U.S. and create their own country (hehe family guy). It's not normal and not accpeted and right now she is "stuck" in between her country and the one that everyone else is in

zachf said...

Ty- I ythink everyone strives for something more in life. If they have a good career they want to move up the ladder. I think it's human nature to always be something better.

erikaw said...

Meghan- what exsactly makes Adele so happy that not every one else at the island see?

KylieYoum said...

Well Laura, we can see that many people don't think Hillary Clinton has the abilities to be a good president, but it's obvious she's not helpless.

Many of our government ways would change without women influence...

Laurab said...

Hannah just talked about why Edna is so different. I think that we don't know if she is so different, if the other women are unhappy, we don't know. I think that Edna is just the one to kind of, in a weird, wimpy way, show her unhappiness.

matt said...

Nathan, I think youve hit the nail on the head. In this time period, marriage was still largley used for gaining property and things of that nature, not for true love. I think that their love has grown due to their marriage, not the other way around

Madisonm said...

Laura,
In our society today, I think that some women still do think of themselves in that way; they limit themselves because they think they are not capable of the same things as men. THey set themselves up for lives of women from many decades ago, in a position less than men. However, there are women, many women, who make themselves known and who do accomplish things, many of those things above the accomplishments of men. I think that it is mainly women's idea of themselves that is more influential than others opinions of them. I think that if a woman thinks herself helpless, she is more likely to be helpless than had someone else just told her that she was helpless.
I hope that makes sense.

chelseah said...

Laura,
If women in general were still seen is helpless in todays society, I think that men would take advantage of their power, but also take it for granted. Women would have less and less say in everything, and society would be run the way that men want it to. It would also give men a false sense of power, just like in the Awakening. I think that Robert thinks that he has a lot more control over Edna then he actually does, because in reality she is still married to her husband, so ultimately he has the final control. Edna does have some power in the fact that she could choose what she wants more, but at this point, both men feel that they hold the most power.

kaylaf said...

Laura, women were seen as helpless not too long ago. Women were potryed as peopel that were good to be at home and in the kitchen but nothing else. Until their importance during such events as WWII and the 'women's revolution' to get the rights they deserved. So life would just go back in time about 100 years ago or so.

Hannah J said...

Laura-
That is an interesting thought...what if women were still thought of as weak and powerless today? Obviously, there are still countries that view women this way, but I think you were talking about in the US. I don't know what would happen. It's an odd thing to think about. I do think that if women were powerless today, we would have a very different society and many things would be different.

Thank goodness for the women who changed things. :]

DeclanH said...

I agree with Nathan as well. This book seems to throw around the word love a lot, often at times when true love isn't involved. I think it might show that Edna doesn't know what she wants. That, or the author just throws it around a lot.

briang said...

Laura, to some extent, I feel that woman are still portrayed as helpless. We have made huge strides in this area, but woman are still unfortunately portrayed as the weaker gender. Part of this is because men feel they are the dominent gender, but honestly I believe part of it comes from some womens desire to be helpless.

erikaw said...

What makes a woman developed?

Ty said...

Zach-Then to relate this back to The Awakening, do you think that Edna thinks that Robert will make her a better person?

Laurab said...

Kjerstin~ That is an interesting point of view. I think that many things would change. How weird would it be if women's lives were considered not worthy of respect like they are today?

jordanc said...

Brian, what women have you seen that desire to be helpless? I'm not disagreeing with you but I was just trying to think of some examples of today.

jimmym92 said...

ok I have another song connection Voices by Saosin
"I miss the part, when we were moving forward now
On our way down
But maybe someday, I'll be something more than love
Just know I'll never tell.....
We speak in different voices
When fighting with the ones we've loved
We speak in different voices
Why can't we say what we're thinking of"

Do you think that the parrot is saying what they are thinking of?
and Does Enda talk in a different voice when she is talking to Robert?

Blair said...

Going along with what Kayla said, reading this story from the perspective of our time is really hard, because today women are seen as independent and powerful, and divorces are common. But back then they were not as common and women were not supposed to be outspoken. So i think we might be to quick to judge Edna's situation because we view through the way society is today.

Hannah J said...

Erika-
Another great question! I think what makes a woman developed is having confidence in herself and what she believes in. Women in other countries want to have better lives, but the countries they live in do not allow them to do so. They cannot make a better life for themselves even though they want to.

Connor_J said...

Mrs. Ratignolle is a common women of the time. She loves and worships her kids and husband. She is completley different from Edna and yet they are still friends

What makes them continue to be friends when they think so differently?

briang said...

Jordan, I'm just saying, there are girls, even at our school, who portray themselves as helpless to get attention. I personally think woman are just as strong and powerful as men, however, I'm just saying, there are women who undiniably make themselves out to be helpless and weak for attention.

CMeghan said...

Brian,

That is an absolutely brilliant observation! Now, to answer you...

On the basic "instinctual" level, men and women are "trained" to be that way, I suppose you could say. Female wolves may go hunting, but it is the male wolves who fight and the females who submit...and lions...and tigers...and bears, oh my!

The honest best way to convince the "common boy" to help one out in a situation is to appear completely helpless or lost, or to ask right out for help. I always go the asking route, because I'm a vocal person, but there are tons of women in the world who act helpless to recieve assistance they need, or to appeal more to men. Loads of girls assume that men will like them MORE the LESS capable they are, which gives rise to all sorts of things like girls pretending to be dumb.

I don't know who it was that engineered the idea that the perfect woman was helpless, frail, pretty, and unclever, but that idea still seems to hold a lot of weight in our society today. I think it's a terribly sad thing, but what is also terribly sad is how effective those things can be. If you act helpless, most decent guys will help you. If you act frail, guys will use the opportunity to help you with their strength. If you are particularly beautiful, you are more eye-catching and if you are stupid it is again an opportunity to be submissive.

Silly, really, I think. Everybody needs help sometimes, and it's okay to ask for it. But the funny thing is, women are ENCOURAGED to seek help and men are DISCOURAGED.

Laugh laugh. Funny little world we live in.