Thursday, February 21, 2008

Live Blogging: Chapters 1-4 of The Awakening

You get your own blog today! Yay!

Please aim to participate at least five times, either through the blog, in the inner circle, or through a combination of both. Take your time both reading and writing comments, and enjoy!

89 comments:

sweta said...

Do you guys think the main charcter is a good mother or not?

Rachel L said...

Uh, well...I guess I'll ask a question.

In one of the chapters, the main character woman person crys for want seems to be "no apparent reason." Was it really just to cry or was she crying over her repression as a woman?

maria k said...

What defines a good mother? Is it society's image of the "perfect family?"

shaunam said...

Since there is so much emphasis put on the birds, what do they symbolize? How are they important?

erinl said...

Sweta-
I don't think that she knows how to be a mother. I think that she is too young to know what to do with a family and wants her freedom, not to be held down by a husband and family

maddyg said...

Sweta- I don't think she was a bad mother, I think that was shown when her husband was harrassing her about the accused sick child. She knew he wasn't really sick, but he thought he knew best and he was going to show her that she was wrong.

christas said...

Sweta-
I think that Mrs. Pontellier might not be the overbearing kind of mother that the other women in the book seem to be, but I don't think she is bad. I think that Mr. Pontellier thinks that she is a bad mother because she is not like the other wives in their society, who "idolized their children,[and] worshiped their husbands...". Mr. Pontellier wants someone who will adore him completely, and his wife does not do this.

Hannah S said...

speaking of all this good mother stuff... Can a good mother be a feminist?

juliab said...

Hey Sixth Hour!

Did anyone notice that the author frequently describes the light and shadows in the novel, especially in Chapter 2 and 3.

Your thoughts?

sweta said...

Erin-
I agree but do you think that is a legitimate reason to not be a mother?

maria k said...

Shauna--I noticed that too! Bird imagery was also all over Shakespeare, and I'm still not sure why it was so prominent. Do you think maybe it's the author's way of working in nature?

endsleye said...

Maria- I think that a good mother cares for her children and supports them no matter what and puts them before herself.

Tina L said...

Maria-

sometimes I think that a "good" mother more depends on caring about the children, no matter how much or how little you can actually do for them.

But sometimes I think that a "good" mother is only one who can provide well for her children and enable them to have a good life. It's a good question.

erinl said...

Shauna-
I think that the birds symbolize freedom, because they can't be held down. Birds fly away when they want to because they want to.

maddyg said...

What exactly is the relationship between Robert and Edna?

Lara McDougald said...

I think that at this point in the book Mrs. Pontellier is going throught the first stage of feminism: realizing that you are being oppressed.

endsleye said...

Rachel-I think after she went in to see her child it hit something else that she has bottled up. I read ch. 5 and 6 by accident but it explains why in that chapter so i wont give it away

maria k said...

Julia--As a psychoanaysist fresh from ALIS, the "shadow" represents the bad part of a person, and the light, or good part of a person is called a "persona." When these are out of balance, that's when conflict happens. I wonder if that somehow relates.

christas said...

Rachel-
I think that Mrs. Pontellier is oppressed, but doesn't really realize it. In the book it says that her crying was a common occurrence throughout her marriage, so she thinks it is normal for her husband to make her feel sad. She has never really experienced a husband who respects her as a woman, so she doesn't really believe that she is worthy of respectful treatment.

kaytlinr said...

rachel-
I have a different idea about why she is crying. So far, just by the way that her husband acts, I think that he is abusive. Not physically,
but mentally, like he finds a little flaw and makes into a big deal, bringing her down.

erinl said...

Sweta-
I don't think that any women should be a mother if she doesn't know how to be a "good mother". If she doesn't know how to take care of someone else and but time and effort into her children then she shouldn't be a mother.

Rachel L said...

Mothering children has nothing to do with being a feminist in this day and age...but back then, having children was considered a necessity to be a good female. It one wanted to rebel against the societal norms, she might not have children for such a reason, but raising children properly shouldn't be considered a violation of women's rights.

sweta said...

Chirsta-
I agree on the whole not being the typical housewife argument. But what do you think the other woman think of her? Do you think they think she is good or bad?

maria k said...

Maddy--I noticed that each spouse had someone else, like Mr. had that woman at the billiard place. I wonder if something will happen with both of them.

saram said...

I agree with Endsley. I think a good mother always puts her children before herself and is able to care for and support them. Is the women in the story a good mother?

sweta said...

Erin-
That is a good point. But how do you know when you are ready?

maddyg said...

What did you guys think about when it said that he saw her as a damaged piece of property when she was sunburned?

Hannah S said...

once again... Can a good mother be a feminist? and can a feminist be a good mother?

Lara McDougald said...

Why did you think that reading gave Mrs. Pontellier such a thrill?

Tina L said...

Julia- I think there might be some serious symbolism in the light and shadows, even though I can't particularily find the specific examples.

christas said...

Maddy-
That is a good question. I thought it was strange that Robert and Edna are spending so much time alone together, but Mr. Pontellier doesn't really seem to care. To me he seems kind of controlling and critical because of the way he made Edna cry, but in this aspect he is really lenient. I wonder if he really loves her, or simply views her as a maid that cooks the meals and cares for the children.

endsleye said...

Sara-
I am kinda ify about the Mrs. P's mothering. She seems to blow them off a ton and doesn't care if they fall and get hurt. She was just like your fine go away.

kaytlinr said...

Julia-
I noticed that too. I kind of thought that it was the seperation between his stuff or space and he space.

endsleye said...

hannah-
i believe you can be a good mother and be a feminist at the same time.

tanal said...

Sweta,
I think that the other women think she is bad because she isn't following the same "routine" that the other typical women have followed by being the usual housewife and mother.

erinl said...

Sweta-
I think that it depends on the person when they are ready. I think it depends on what a person deals with growing up and how mature the person is at the time.

Ms. Kakos said...

Strong comments on how our society and Edna's society define motherhood.

Where are the boys in our class? We need some male perspective.

maria k said...

Lara--Maybe it was her way of escaping, like in "The Yellow Wallpaper" she wrote to release her feelings.

shaunam said...

I agree with Erin. To be a good mother you have to find the balance of putting someone else before you and always caring for them first.

Tina L said...

Why do you guys think the story starts with Mr. Pontellier? At first, he is the only character we know, but this seems to be a feminist novel.

maddyg said...

This is kind of a strange question, but how old do you think Mr. P is? Do you think he's attractive or do the other girls like him just for his mother?

juliab said...

Did anyone think that the beginning of this book was very "Lifetime Movie"-ish? Everybody seems to portray a stereotype. Do you think that the author intended them to be this way for purposes later in the book?

christas said...

Lara-
What did you think about the way that Mrs. Pontellier read in secret? Do you think she was afraid of being ridiculed by Mr Pontellier? This kind of reminded me of "The Yellow Wallpaper", where the woman creeped around.

Rachel L said...

Maddy-

Women were treated like slaves. In fact, they were slaves in a domestic sense. They were expected to do all of the housework, raise the children, make meals, and keep the house in good order. Does a slave not do the same thing, but on a more physical labor stand-point?

Lara McDougald said...

What was the common stereotype of a women at this time?

Hannah S said...

I think that it starts with Mr. P because it is satyrizing how our minds think of males and females differently. I believe that it is a feminist point, showing that the human minds think of males as more powerful/first...

tanal said...

I think that reading gave Mrs. Pontellier a thrill because it allowed her to live the life of someone else and not her and she was able to fantasize. This also connects to the quote that Annika had on her powerpoint the other day about living through someone else.

shaunam said...

Lara--
I think that it definately connects to "The Yellow Wallpaper" in that it was her escape from oppression from her husband, just like writing did in "The Yellow Wallpaper."

maria k said...

Kakos! All the males are actually in the center debating feminism. Wish you were here!

sweta said...

Tana-
I agree. Like they said in the inner circle how she doesn't bake or cook all the time like a "mother" should do, she is justified as a "bad" mother. But what do you think the children feel about her? And what do the children feel about the father?

juliab said...

Cool idea Maria!

Tina - I think that the author began with Mr. P to make the reader aware of his prominence.

erinl said...

Lara-
I think that the stereotype of women at this time was to be the housewife, take care of the kids, make dinner, clean the house etc.

Damian L. said...

Hey we are all in the inner circle of a bowl full of fish.

tanal said...

Lara,
I think that the typical sterotype of this time was a stay at home wife/mother.

Tina L said...

Julia- yes I did notice that everyone seemed to have a stereotype-
the mother-woman and etc.
I think maybe it is to help us feel for Edna because she feels outside all these groups. Or at least it helps us understand that she is outside.

p.s. Ms Kakos all the boys are in the inner circle. :D

kaytlinr said...

Maddy-
The fact that he saw her as a damaged piece of property, kind of reminded me of how the "upper east side moms" are seen as in the Nanny Diaries. It is almost like they are expected to be perfect in every way and if they show the smallest flaws, it's a big deal. But if the man has flaws it's not a big deal, and it's not mentioned.

christas said...

Julia-
I think that the author did have a purpose in this. I think that by protraying everyone as a perfect little housewife or a dignified father and husband that she will lull the reader into a false sense of security, and then be able to reveal that things are not as they seem. She will be able to reveal to the reader the way that the characters evolve throughout the story.

Lara McDougald said...

Christa-
I never connected Mrs. Pontellier's reading to "The Yellow Wallpaper". This brought me to a new question. Do you think reading was so invigorating just because it was forbidden, or was it the prospect of freeing one's repressed one?

shaunam said...

From the inside circle, about what Kristen said, every woman has the potential to be a mother, and even if they don't seem like it, people can change and eventually adapt to being a mother.

Rachel L said...

Drawing in a quesiton from the inner circle, Mrs. P says in one chapter that a motherly woman "idolizes her children and worships her husband." What defines the line between whorship and fear?

shaunam said...

From the inside circle, about what Kristen said, every woman has the potential to be a mother, and even if they don't seem like it, people can change and eventually adapt to being a mother.

endsleye said...

Lara-
I think that during this time the stereotype of women was that they stayed at home and took care of the children and took care of the house.

Tina L said...

Now Colin is giving his advice on parenting hahahhaha.

saram said...

lara.
I think that the stereotype of women would be found very offensive to many women today. It was like women are only important for cooking and cleaning, caring for the kids, and keeping things organized. The man was seen as the superior of the two, even though it seems like they just have the job and work during the day while the women works all the time.

tanal said...

I don't know what the kids think of the mother. I think that the kids think she is a bad mother because she is not the usual typical mother that all the other kids have.

shaunam said...

Rachel--
I think that there is a fine line between worship and fear, and in this book, I can't really tell the difference. I think people do things out of fear because they are afraid of the consequences, but worship, they do it because its what they want to do.

saram said...

From the inner circle, I agree with what caitlin said. I think every woman has the motherly gene and it just depends on if they want to use it or not.

erinl said...

Tina-
Haha I know! He works at Target so he sees all the bratty little kids that get everything that they want. But his impression was hilarious

clewis said...

Thanks for agreeing Sara!

christas said...

Lara-
I think that Mrs. Pontellier found reading invigorating because it was a choice she made for herself. I don't think that her husband knew about or encouraged her to read, and I think that she felt a sense of freedom because she was not following orders or performing "womanly duties" and was freed from her husband's control momentarily.

maddyg said...

Tina that's so true haha. Well, i agree with what Annika was saying about how if she were able to make the choice and if she felt like she had some more control, then she would be a good mother.

juliab said...

Commenting on the age conversation in the middle -

I think age has absolutely nothing to do with Mrs.P's problems, I think her problems stem from her fear of others' power over her.

juliab said...

Commenting on the age conversation in the middle -

I think age has absolutely nothing to do with Mrs.P's problems, I think her problems stem from her fear of others' power over her.

Tina L said...

Tana-

good point. In both the Yellow Wallpaper and The Awakening, the kids seem to have little purpose, other than theoretical discussion. I'm not sure the kids even noticed that their mother was different than all the other mothers.

The part where it talks about how a Pontellier kid will fall and just get up again- what did you guys think about that? Other than the fact that it means she wasn't there for them when they fell. Do you think it's good for them to get over those little injuries, or not?

Lara McDougald said...

Sara-
I think that society has definitely gone a long way when it comes to dispelling female stereotypes. But, I still think that these stereotypes of cooking, cleaning, carpool-driving moms exists. How do you think society get rid of these stereotypes?

Ms. Kakos said...

All the boys are in the inner circle and I'm missing it? I hope somebody is taking good notes (especially on Collin's advice on parenting).

Excellent connections to "The Yellow Wallpaper," by the way.

Tina L said...

HEY
with what Carley is saying, and what I just commented, Edna's children take care of themselves the same way she takes care of herself- by coping herself.

erinl said...

I agree that arranged marriages last longer because the people in the relationship are forced to work out their problems

tanal said...

Oh don't worry Kakos, Emily and Laura are taking good notes!

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