The Awakening
The Awakening
by Kate Chopin
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Adele Ratignolle

Character Analysis

Adele is Edna’s close friend and almost complete opposite. As the supreme example of a "mother-woman," Adele represents the ideal that Edna is supposed to imitate. Adele spends all her time caring for her family and maintaining a state of marital bliss with her husband. She keeps up with only one hobby, music, because it makes her home brighter and more attractive. In other words, Adele has completely subsumed her identity in favor of her family.

At the same time, however, it is Adele’s liberal Creole ways that help unleash the Inner Edna. When Adele clasps Edna’s hand in Chapter Seven, for instance, Edna is at first taken aback but her reserve soon melts and she opens up to Adele, confiding past infatuations and the reasons for her marriage. Edna takes this newfound ability and runs with it – all the way to a new house, a new man, and a new outlook on life. While Adele disapproves, remember that her character started this chain reaction in Edna’s life.

Adele Ratignolle Timeline
Next Page: Mademoiselle Reisz
Previous Page: Leonce Pontellier

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