Question #2

How do individuals play out the roles assigned to them by their society, not recognizing their lack of freedom to behave otherwise?

Actually, the cause of all the Loisel’s troubles in this story is Mme Loisel’s inability to accept her position in the middle class/proletariat. Both Mme Loisel and her husband are conscious of their socioeconomic class, but while M. Loisel is satisfied with his position in life, Mme Loisel remains unsatisfied. Her efforts to play the role of a woman in the bourgeoisie demonstrates her failure to understand that she has no freedom to change her situation. Furthermore, Mme Loisel’s rebellion (masquerading as a woman in the upper class) demonstrates conscious participation in class struggle.

If there is one character who plays out her role and is not conscious of it, that would be Mme Forestier. Safely ensconced in the privilege of the upper middle class – perhaps even the bourgeoisie – Mme Forestier benefits from the class hierarchy and so she does not (appear to) consider the ways in which the capitalist system oppresses her neighbors.

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