I am writing on The Awakening, and what a mother-woman is. I will discuss why Edna is not a mother-woman and why; also I will discuss the foil to her character Adele and how she is the embodiment of the term mother-woman. The description of a mother-woman from The Awakening is:.
It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels. .
Edna is not a mother-woman. She is a sort of recluse from the other mothers and women on the island. She prefers to spend her time with a young man named Robert. Robert is a native to the island and he usually picks one woman each summer to hang around with. Edna and Robert are close to the same age, whereas Edna and her husband are very far apart in age. Edna is only twenty-eight and her husband is forty. She is not very close to her husband Leonce or her children; servants that watch her children during the day and she basically sees them as little as possible. Leonce, also views Edna as a piece of property; he never really spends time with her but he expects her to come when he calls. One example from the story is when Edna wants to stay out on the porch and Leonce keeps ordering her to come back in the house. He just expects her to jump up and yield to his every demand, because he thinks she belongs to him. .
The foil to Ednas character, Adele Ratignolle, is a mother-woman. She is very attentive to her children and her husband; when he actually takes the time to notice her. The first mention of Adele says that she is "the embodiment of every womanly grace and charm." She adores her children and can hardly bare to be away from them. She does not seem to be bothered that her husband ignores her, because she is too wrapped up in being an attentive and loving mother.