The Awakening, and Selected Stories Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the Pontellier family.

Léonce Pontellier is a successful, Creole businessman and a Catholic, who is married to Edna, a Protestant from Kentucky. They have two young boys, Raoul and Étienne.

2. How does Léonce Pontellier treat his sunburned wife?

When Mr. Pontellier sees his wife has gotten sunburned while out with her young friend, Robert Lebrun, he treats her like a valuable possession that has been carelessly damaged.

3. Who is Robert LeBrun?

Robert Lebrun is a carefree young Creole man. Robert and Edna greatly enjoy each other's company. Robert talks often about going to find his fortune in Mexico.

4. Describe Madame Ratignolle.

Madame Adèle Ratignolle is one of Edna's friends. Edna admires her and describes the Creole woman as having womanly charm and grace. Madame Ratignolle thinks nothing of discussing the births of her children in detail, even with male friends, while Edna could never bring herself to discuss such private matters.

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