Essay about The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Essay about The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin was a feminist, and it has been said that "She told directly-and without moral judgment- how certain women are beginning to challenge the male dominant culture that limited all aspects of women's lives- even the lives of the comfortable situated women-- and tried to control their psyches as well" ("Chopin" 550). Chopin stays true to her beliefs in her writing. The story, The Awakening, is set in the late 1800's, the book was actually completed in January of 1898, when the typical roles of men and women were expected to be of a certain set caliber, and it was not common for anyone to deviate from the path that was set before them. In The Awakening, as well as some of her other works, she explores the option of sexism. The main character Edna Pontellier sees the "perfect" pattern of what a woman should be within a woman, Adele Ratignolle, which Edna met during her families' summer vacation at Grand Isle. Edna also is caught in a struggle within herself of what the "right" role of a mother and wife are. Kate Chopin not only shows her feelings of sexism within The Awakening, but also within her story, Desiree's Baby.
In the story Chopin displayed two important characters, Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle as two strangers who meet on a summer vacation. The two women become friends. The two women are truly the definition of opposites as far as the standard way of the perfect woman is concerned. Adele is the "perfect" pattern that is expected of women in the 1800's. She lives for her family. She had been married for seven years when the two women meet. She had already had three children, and was pregnant with her fourth, while Edna had been married for a shorter time, six years, and only had two children...


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Kate Chopin was a woman who was not intimated by the "right" way for women to think and act during the late 1800's. She was a feminist writer who brought her opinions to her writing. She showed her thoughts on sexism in many different ways. Some of the ways include comparing the lifestyles of two important characters, Edna and Adele in The Awakening. She also used this story to show sexism by showing the struggle that occurred within Edna to conform to the proper way of being. Chopin helps her main character Desiree break through the sexism and, of blame from her husband in, Desiree's Baby, by simply giving the ending a plot twist, and making the husband actually at fault for what he felt "went wrong" with the baby. Chopin uses different techniques, but manages to ultimately get her point across of everyone being equal, no matter what sex they are.





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