Preview
Preview

Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay

:: 7 Works Cited
Length: 1882 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

During the late nineteenth century, the time of protagonist Edna Pontellier, a woman's place in society was confined to worshipping her children and submitting to her husband. Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, encompasses the frustrations and the triumphs in a woman's life as she attempts to cope with these strict cultural demands. Defying the stereotype of a "mother-woman," Edna battles the pressures of 1899 that command her to be a subdued and devoted housewife. Although Edna's ultimate suicide is a waste of her struggles against an oppressive society, The Awakening supports and encourages feminism as a way for women to obtain sexual freedom, financial independence, and individual identity.

Feminism is commonly thought of as a tool for educating society on the rights of women. It teaches that a woman is equal to a man in every civil and societal accord. Realizing this is not always the case, Charlotte Bunch, a noted lesbian feminist of the 1970s also defined feminism as "a way of looking at the world - a questioning of power [and] domination issues" (WIE). Many feminists attempt to bulrush the ideals of stereotypical women and push them away from those who believe in these standards. "Feminist scholars also seek to question and transform androcentric [sic] systems of thought which position the male as the norm," says Barbara McManus. They strive to find, examine, and eliminate biases in a world encumbered with intolerant men who see women as thoughtless objects and most certainly not equals. Other women announce their impressive intellect, economic well-being, and individual personalities to the people who oppose them. "A woman should always present herself and explain her forthcoming jaunts into Feminists, like Edna, howe...


... middle of paper ...


...Barbara F. "Characteristics of a Feminist Approach." December 8, 2001. http://www.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/femcharacteristics.html.

Showalter, Elaine. The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, November 1985.

Ward, Jennifer A. "Deconstruction or Feminist Critique?" December 9, 2001. http://www.geocities.com/athens/acropolis.6998/chopin2.html.

Wear, Delese and Nixon, Lois LaCivita. Literary Anatomies: Women's Bodies and Health in Literature. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Women's Information Exchange. "Feminism Defined." December 7, 2001. http://electrapages.com/FEMINIST.htm

Wood, Ann Douglas. "'The Fashionable Diseases': Women's Complaints and Their Treatment in Nineteenth-Century America." Women and Health in America. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, Ltd., 1984.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Birth in Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Birth in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Birth, whether of children or desires, plays a strong motif throughout The Awakening. The four components of childbirth, which Edna—the novel’s main character—recalls as she witnesses her friend Madame Ratignolle give birth, represent major themes Chopin emphasizes throughout her novel. These four components are “ecstasy of pain, the heavy odor of chloroform, a stupor which had deadened sensation, and an awakening to find a little new life” (133). In childbirth, the first three components are necessary to achieve the fourth: the awakening to find a new life....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
2916 words
(8.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening - The Feminist Awakening Essay - The Feminist Awakening   Women’s rights have evolved over time; beginning with being homemakers and evolving to obtaining professions, acquiring an education, and gaining the right to vote. The movement that created all these revolutionary changes was called the feminist movement. The feminist movement occurred in the twentieth century. Many people are not aware of the purpose of the feminist movement. The movement was political and social and it sought to set up equality for women. Women’s groups in the United States worked together to win women’s suffrage and later to create and support the Equal Rights Amendment....   [tags: Kate Chopin, The Awakening]
:: 5 Works Cited
2101 words
(6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Kate Chopin's The Awakening Kate Chopin's novella The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman who throughout the novella tries to find herself. Edna begins the story in the role of the typical mother-woman distinctive of Creole society but as the novelette furthers so does the distance she puts between herself and society. Edna's search for independence and a way to stray from society's rules and ways of life is depicted through symbolism with birds, clothing, and Edna's process of learning to swim....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening] 1023 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay - Kate Chopin's The Awakening Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening expresses the difficulty of finding a woman’s place in society. Edna learns of new ideas such as freedom and independence while vacationing in Grand Isle. Faced with a choice to conform to society’s expectations or to obey personal desires for independence, Edna Pontellier realizes that either option will result in dissatisfaction. Thus, Edna’s awakening in Grand Isle leads to her suicide. Edna’s awakening occurs during her family’s vacation in Grand Isle....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays] 1346 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Kate Chopin The Awakening - Kate Chopin The Awakening To what extent does Edna Pontellier, in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, mark a departure from the female characters of earlier nineteenth-century American novels The Awakening was published in 1899, and it immediately created a controversy. Contemporaries of Kate Chopin (1851-1904) were shocked by her depiction of a woman with active sexual desires, who dares to leave her husband and have an affair. Instead of condemning her protagonist, Chopin maintains a neutral, non-judgmental tone throughout and appears to even condone her character's unconventional actions....   [tags: Kate Chopin The Awakening Literature Papers]
:: 4 Works Cited
2358 words
(6.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay - Kate Chopin's The Awakening In Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening, written approximately one hundred years ago, the protagonist Edna Pontellier's fate is resolved when she 'deliberately swims out to her death in the gulf'(Public Opinion, np). Her own suicide is indeed considered as a small, almost nonexistent victory by many, nevertheless there are those who consider her death anything but insignificant. Taking into consideration that 'her inability to articulate her feelings and analyze her situation [unattainable happiness] results in her act of suicide...'(Muirhead, np) portrays Edna as being incapable of achieving a release from her restricted womanhood as imposed by society....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays Papers]
:: 7 Works Cited
1495 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Kate Chopin's Awakening Essay - Kate Chopin's Awakening Kate Chopin's depiction of “The Awakening” is realistic as she develops Edna Pontellier’s character from a socially and morally respectable individual to an individual that turns her back on everything closest to her as she births her new self-being. Edna Pontellier struggles between her subconscious and conscious thoughts as unusual feelings stir unfounded emotions and senses. Some of Chopin’s characters lend themselves in Edna’s “awakening”. Through examination of Leonce Pontellier, Robert Lebrun, Madame Moiselle Reisz, Adele Ratignolle, and Alcee Arobin the life of Edna Pontellier turns into her ultimate death....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1462 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay Edna’s Choice in Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Edna’s Choice in Kate Chopin's The Awakening The text of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening often makes Edna Pontellier appear selfish and unfeeling, especially towards her children. Chopin does, however, allow for the possibility that Edna’s final act may be one of unselfish love for her children. It is Edna’s inability to assume the role society has chosen for her that leads her to act as she does. Edna really had no other choice in the end. It is very easy to perceive Edna as a selfish, cold, unfeeling woman....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1646 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Women's Role In Society - Have you ever wondered what the lifestyles of Nineteenth Century women were like. Were they independent, career women or were they typical housewives that cooked, clean, watched the children, and catered to their husbands. Did the women of this era express themselves freely or did they just do what society expected of them. Kate Chopin was a female author who wrote several stories and two novels about women. One of her renowned works of art is The Awakening. This novel created great controversy and received negative criticism from literary critics due to Chopin's portrayal of women by Edna throughout the book....   [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening] 1498 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Chopin's The Awakening is full of symbolism.  Rather than hit the reader on the head with blunt literalism, Chopin uses symbols to relay subtle ideas.  Within each narrative segment, Chopin provides a symbol that the reader must fully understand in order to appreciate the novel as a whole.  I will attempt to dissect some of the major symbols and give possible explanations as to their importance within the text.  Art itself is a symbol of both freedom and failure.  In her attempt to become an artist, Edna reaches the zenith of her awakening.  She begins to truly understand pure art as a means of self-expression as well as self-assertion.  In a si...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays Kate]
:: 7 Works Cited
1483 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]