“…she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world” (Chopin 95).
At the heart of many works of fiction, and indeed of many real-life pursuits, is a recognition of and a confrontation of society as an oppressive force. This can take many forms, from coming-of-age challenges of parental authority, to challenges of institutionalized injustice or inequality. The latter is present in Kate Chopin’s 1899 novella The Awakening, wherein the crux of protagonist Edna Pontellier’s internal conflict is a realization that expectations about her responsibilities as a woman are unfair and undesirable. The above quote notes Edna’s reaction to this internal conflict; she shrugs off her “fictitious self,” the ideal woman that others want her to be, and gradually but persistently becomes a more genuine version of herself. Immediately, the novel’s theme of challenging what it means to be a woman evokes thoughts of the feminist movement; unsurprisingly, much of The Awakening can be interpreted as feminist literature.
In his article “Was Kate Chopin a Feminist?”, Andrew Delbanco has attempted to analyze Chopin’s work in order to determine whether the author could rightfully be classified as a part of that movement. While Delbanco comes to the logical conclusion that, at least under the assumption that her beliefs are represented in her work, Kate Chopin is in fact a feminist, the article’s jumbled construction, subjective style, and irrelevant rambling make it hard even for those of similar opinion to feel either supported or convinced by Delbanco himself.
Andrew Delbanco’s assertion is that Kate Chop...
... middle of paper ...
...sets her free from patriarchy, while also unselfishly sacrificing her life for her children. Delbanco writes that Edna despairs “at not having found a third way between the alternatives of submission and emulation,” but this death, in fact, is the third way.
Andrew Delbanco poses a much-discussed question about author Kate Chopin; while it’s clear that she is a feminist, this information does not come from Delbanco, who largely missed the point in his article. The Awakening serves as an inspirational work because it allows the generally unexceptional protagonist, Edna, to become a heroine through what could be seen as martyrdom. She dies for her children, a type of self-sacrifice that is valued in her time and society, but she also dies so that those who read her story can see the trapping effects of patriarchy in a society in which the only freedom lies in death.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, a woman's entrapment within a patriarchal society reveals to her the bonds of having to live up the society's standards which further demonstrates the corruption and skewed perspectives of the post-Victorian era. In the novella, Edna Pontellier's, a wife of a rich Creole businessman, sexual and spiritual desires surface themselves which distinguishes a separation between her pursuit of happiness and her responsibilities as a mother and wife. As an oppressed character, she does anything in her power to achieve freedom, no matter how sinful the acts to getting there may be.... [tags: Kate Chopin, Analysis]
997 words (2.8 pages)
- Edna's Suicide in Kate Chopin's The Awakening At the end of Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening" the protagonist Edna commits suicide. The remaining question for the reader is: Does Edna's suicide show that she succeeded or failed in her struggle for independence. Edna's new life in independency seems to be going well especially after Robert had returned from Mexico. The lover, who she met during her vacation at Grand Isle, told her that he loves her and he wants to marry her. But her mood changes when her friend Adéle tells her that she should care more about her family as she does not spend enough time with her family because of her affairs.... [tags: Kate Chopin Awakening Analysis]
971 words (2.8 pages)
- Storytelling has been a common pastime for centuries. Over the years it has evolved into different styles containing different themes. Kate Chopin, a well-known author of the 20th century, wrote stories about the secrets in women’s lives that no one dared to speak of. Her work was not always appreciated and even considered scandalous, but it opened up a world that others were too afraid to touch. In Chopin’s story “The Storm,” a woman has an affair that causes an unlikely effect. The story’s two themes are portrayed greatly through an abundance of imagery and symbolism, along with the two main characters themselves.... [tags: Love, Marriage, Happiness, Kate Chopin]
1113 words (3.2 pages)
- Back in 1894, the American writer Kate Chopin wrote the short-story "The Story of an Hour". Chopin, born O'Flaherty, wasn't renowned as a writer during her time, but she has achieved recognition in the 20th century especially with her 1899 novel "The Awakening". Her stories about strong women have really been paid attention to in relation to this century's sexual liberation debate. This short-story revolves around what goes through a person's head when informed that a close family member has perished.... [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour]
1331 words (3.8 pages)
- Kate Chopin wrote “The Story of an Hour” in 1894; it describes a young married women named Louise confronting years of suppression that vanish with her husband’s death leaving her with unimaginable freedom. A few years later in 1899, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” which portrayed a married woman’s struggle against insanity. The similarities between the two would seem unapparent, other than the fact that both women in the stories are married. When submersing oneself deeper into the stories, one can see the analogy between their wedded husbands, and the controlling grips they have on their wives.... [tags: Kate Chopin, The Story of an Hour, Analysis]
1316 words (3.8 pages)
- What's Hidden in Kate Chopin's "The Storm". Kate Chopin's the storm is about a woman named Calixta who rekindles a lost romance with a former lover in the midst of a storm. This story centers on lost love and being stuck in relationships that are unwanted. There is a lot of hidden meaning in the story, told well behind the characters and their surroundings, and it also has a strong plot, and a lot of symbolism. The plot of a woman and a man rekindling a lost romance in the midst of a storm is one with a lot of innuendos.... [tags: Kate Chopin]
1548 words (4.4 pages)
- In "The Story of an Hour" Kate Chopin tells the story of a woman, Mrs. Mallard whose husband is thought to be dead. Throughout the story Chopin describes the emotions Mrs. Mallard felt about the news of her husband's death. However, the strong emotions she felt were not despair or sadness, they were something else. In a way she was relieved more than she was upset, and almost rejoiced in the thought of her husband no longer living. In using different literary elements throughout the story, Chopin conveys this to us on more than one occasion.... [tags: The Story of an Hour Kate Chopin]
805 words (2.3 pages)
- Kate Chopin's Desiree's Baby This essay will focus on the short story by Kate Chopin and its use of symbols, setting and characters. Desiree’s baby was perhaps one of the best stories I’ve ever read. Analyzing it was not easy at all. Its use of symbols was very hard to comprehend. At first, it doesn’t make sense. But as you think critically, all the symbols, and setting and the characters in this literature plunge together in one amazing story.... [tags: Kate Chopin Desiree's Baby]
1392 words (4 pages)
- Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Question #1 Compare and contrast women's roles and marriage in "The Story of an Hour" and "The Yellow Wallpaper." Mrs. Mallard had heart trouble and is very sick. After the news of her husbands death she locked herself in her room and all she could think was she was finally free. She knew she would weep again when she saw her husband with his hands folded in death, but all she could think as she sat in the room all alone was of the many years she would have ahead of her to only live for herself: "But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely" (Danticat 138).... [tags: Kate Chopin]
1629 words (4.7 pages)
- Things and People are not always as they appear to be on the first sight that is why we have to examine them in different ways otherwise they may mislead us. That is more then true in the short story "The Kiss" by Kate Chopin in which she uses imagery, irony and simile to show us how deceitful a person can be. She tells us by the actions of her characters that a person should not be judged solely by his or her appearance or words because those things can be dangerously misleading. All of the characters in Chopin story play their own games and in more or less visible way try to manipulate others to achieve their own sometimes not very righteous goals, but who will eventually succeed in realiz... [tags: Kate Chopin]
1046 words (3 pages)