Men were free to discuss their conquest in the confines of the group and boast of their prowess. Natural sexual responses and instincts were socially unacceptable and women had difficulty discussing their innermost thoughts and feelings to everyone without the fear of being admonished. A lot of expectations were also burdened on men to discover achievement and success. Diversity among males and females and the recognition of alternative behavior were never recognized. Literature provides a view of these attitudes through emotions, sexual responses and of spiritual belief in two 19th century fiction: "The Awakening and Foster's social commentary, "A Room with a View" on the different responses of men and women in the era at two different worlds. Subjectively, repression of human needs and desire may create a negative impact on an individual which will further be proven literally in these two literatures.
Women trapped in loveless relationships pretended nothing amiss despite complaints of husbands routinely, "smoked out he went to bed, and in half a minute (he) was fast asleep"(Chap. III p.1). Every fiber of the body is in rage over neglect yet most women would rather cry themselves to sleep rather than verbally complain. Young Lucy felt the same oppressive binds in her social and emotional state. She felt compelled to enter into a loveless marriage to please the whims of a doting mother and a highly judgmental society that critically appraised women as domestic possessions. Spiritually, young Lucy felt an inter-connective bind with a sovereign power as a member of a Christian church. Usually for religious individuals, religion further supports ones moral convictions that could sometimes withstand despite severe treatment from outside forces. Edna on the other hand whose focus was on her emotional turmoil and sexual inadequacy devoid of any spiritual power to hold on to as a moral pillar to lean on, was unable to tackle her own problems. Men at the same time experienced emotional and sexual inadequacies plagued with repressing their own feelings through a variety of reasons such as inexperience in the part of George Emerson when he has known so few women that could also be related to male androgyny. It is heavily noted that the acceptance of the "third sex" was unheard of during that time. Men were expected to encompass a strong ultra-male image and Mr. Pontellier complained that "he had his hands full with his brokerage business that he could not be in two places at once" (Chap III p 1).
Love and sexuality is the driving force in relationships. "You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it but you can never pull it out of you"(chap.19,p.208). No matter how man tries to suppress the feeling, the basic urge that all humans feel is akin to what Edna related that "It was a flaming torch that kindled desire"(chap.27p.2). Ironically, repression of man's basic desires leaves no room for growth to hurdle with other stimulus that may be encountered in life. Sexual gratification is substantial to the normal functioning of man. Repression of man's basic urge particularly upon social and moral dictation leads to a confused mental state. The conflict with ones own inner desire and society's contempt for actions at polarized ends causes an internal turmoil.