The Awakening

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Adèle Ratignolle Character Analysis

Edna’s close friend and temperamental opposite, Madame Ratignolle is the model of Victorian womanhood: she is pretty, fragile, warm-hearted, and completely devoted to her husband and children. She seems to find satisfaction in her motherly and wifely chores, and she urges her friend to do the same. Her tiny, placid world, with its mundane pleasures and tepid artistic efforts, is precisely the world Edna tries to leave behind.

Adèle Ratignolle Quotes in The Awakening

The The Awakening quotes below are all either spoken by Adèle Ratignolle or refer to Adèle Ratignolle. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
).
Chapter 4 Quotes

They were women who idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels.

Related Characters: Adèle Ratignolle
Chapter 18 Quotes

The little glimpse of domestic harmony which had been offered her, gave her no regret, no longing. It was not a condition of life which fitted her, and she could see in it but an appalling and hopeless ennui. She was moved by a kind of commiseration for Madame Ratignolle,—a pity for that colorless existence which never uplifted its possessor beyond the region of blind contentment, in which no moment of anguish ever visited her soul, in which she would never have the taste of life’s delirium.

Related Characters: Edna Pontellier, Adèle Ratignolle
Chapter 37 Quotes

With an inward agony, with a flaming, outspoken revolt against the ways of Nature, she witnessed the scene of torture.

Related Characters: Edna Pontellier, Adèle Ratignolle
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Adèle Ratignolle Character Timeline in The Awakening

The timeline below shows where the character Adèle Ratignolle appears in The Awakening. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
...for comfort. The other mothers at Grand Isle, by contrast, are nervous, protective, and self-sacrificing. Adèle Ratignolle, a friend of Mrs. Pontellier’s, is the epitome of such a woman: beautiful, graceful,... (full context)
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Action and Reflection Theme Icon
Madame Ratignolle is sewing a child’s garment at Mrs. Pontellier’s cottage when Mr. Pontellier’s package arrives. Mrs.... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
As Madame Ratignolle sews, Robert and Mrs. Pontellier chat intimately. Robert has been spending a great deal of... (full context)
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
...she pushes him away. Her two children run in from outside and beg for candies. Madame Ratignolle says she feels ill, as she often does; Mrs. Pontellier suspects that it’s only an... (full context)
Chapter 7
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Action and Reflection Theme Icon
...outer life: the inner life is free, the outer life is confined by custom. Under Adèle’s influence, she has been growing less reserved. (full context)
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
Adèle and Mrs. Pontellier walk to the beach one morning. Mrs. Pontellier is slim, poised, and... (full context)
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Realism and Romanticism Theme Icon
...love him, and she loves her children only intermittently. Edna confesses most of this to Madame Ratignolle . Robert and the children approach them; Madame Ratignolle leaves the beach with Robert. (full context)
Chapter 8
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
On their way from the beach, Madame Ratignolle asks Robert to keep away from Mrs. Pontellier, who, she says, might take his attentions... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Realism and Romanticism Theme Icon
...very small girl in a fancy costume performs a dance as her mother watches avidly. Madame Ratignolle plays the piano—mostly, she says, for the sake of her family. (full context)
Chapter 14
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
When she comes home that night with Robert, Edna takes Etienne and Raoul from Madame Ratignolle , who had been watching them, and helps Etienne get to sleep. Pontellier had been... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Action and Reflection Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
...brings an invitation from the Lebruns, but Edna declines for now. Outside, she complains to Madame Ratignolle about Robert’s dramatic decision; her friend leaves to say goodbye to Robert soon after. (full context)
Chapter 16
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
Edna remembers telling Madame Ratignolle in a casual conversation that she would never sacrifice herself for her children—she would sacrifice... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Action and Reflection Theme Icon
Since she is not in the mood to draw, Edna leaves the house to visit Madame Ratignolle . As on most occasions, she thinks a great deal about Robert. When she reaches... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Action and Reflection Theme Icon
...her, so Edna lets herself in to wait in the living room. Earlier that day, Madame Ratignolle had interrupted Edna’s painting with a social visit. She advised Edna not to spend so... (full context)
Chapter 36
Convention and Individuality Theme Icon
Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
...she does not belong to anyone any more. She is called away suddenly to help Madame Ratignolle , who is having some sort of crisis. Before she leaves, she tells Robert she... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Women’s Rights, Femininity, and Motherhood Theme Icon
Freedom and Emptiness Theme Icon
Edna goes to see Madame Ratignolle , who, it turns out, is about to give birth; she is tired and inconsolable.... (full context)