To fully grasp The Awakening, it is important to understand both into the life of Kate Chopin and the time period in which it was published. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Chopin was raised by her mother’s extended French family after her father’s death in a train accident. Her great grandmother expressed a special fascination with Kate’s advancement into womanhood and ensured that Kate understood “how women’s lives were split between responsibility and desire and the significance of women being independent” (Toth 13, 15). These lessons were not lost on Kate, and they materialize throughout her writing which focuses on the struggles of women in a world dominated by men. When The Awakening was being written, “the Feminist movement was just beginning, and many female authors were writing pieces about the improvement of women’s social conditions; however, unlike these women, Chopin did not limit her exploration of freedom to physical emancipation, but also intellectual autonomy” (Guernsey 46). It was this exploration of women’s independence which created turbulence in the literary community when The Awakening was published in 1899. Unfortunately, Chopin was ahead of her time, ...
... middle of paper ...
...Chopin’s character, Edna Pontellier, serves as a reminder that if a suburban housewife can seize and transform her destiny so too can the rest of womankind.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vol. C. N.p.:
Wadsworth, 2010. 425-515. Print.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993. Print.
Golding, William. Kate Chopin, Modern Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishers,
Guernsey, JoAnn Bren. Voices of Feminism: Past, Present, and Future. Minneapolis, MN:
Lerner Publications, 1996. Print.
Jones, Suzanne W. “Place, Perception, and Identity in the Awakening.” Perspectives on Kate
Chopin. Natchitoches, Louisiana: Northwestern State University Press, 1990. 59-74. Print.
Toth, Emily. Unveiling Kate Chopin. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1999. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Voice of the Sea in The Awakening Many different symbols were utilized in Kate Chopin's The Awakening to illustrate the underlying themes and internal conflict of the characters. One constant and re-emerging symbol is the sea. The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace (Chopin 25). In the novel, “the ocean symbolizes Edna's "awakening" to a life filled with freedom and independence” (Nicke... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
886 words (2.5 pages)
- Importance of the Ocean in Chopin's Awakening In Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, Chopin uses the motif of the ocean to signify the awakening of Edna Pontellier. Chopin compares the life of Edna to the dangers and beauty of a seductive ocean. Edna's fascinations with the unknown wonders of the sea help influence the reader to understand the similarities between Edna's life and her relationship with the ocean. Starting with fear and danger of the water then moving to a huge symbolic victory over it, Chopin uses the ocean as a powerful force in Edna's awakening to the agony and complexity of her life.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
871 words (2.5 pages)
- Importance of Water in The Awakening Kate Chopin's The Awakening begins set in Grande Isle which is the summer get-away for a few families of New Orleans "upper-class". It is a community of cottages owned by the Lebrun family. Edna Pontellier and her husband Leonce summer there with there two children. This is the setting where Edna also develops a close relationship with Robert Lebrun. He is one of Madame Lebrun's sons who helps her run the cottages for the Pontellier's and the Ratingnolle's.... [tags: Kate Chopin's The Awakening]
1462 words (4.2 pages)
- Impressions of The Awakening I liked "The Story of an Hour" much better than I liked "The Awakening" for a few reasons. First of all, "The Awakening" was entirely too long to say what it had to say. I do not really understand the point of having Edna spend all of that time away from Robert. At first, I thought it was to prove how much she missed him, but then she started fooling around with the other guy. To me, this does not indicate that she missed him very much at all. So what was the point of that whole boring part of the story.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
572 words (1.6 pages)
- Madame Bovary Vs. The Awakening Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and The Awakening by Kate Chopin both show the life of a woman in a half-dreamy stupor, overzealously running around looking for something but not knowing what it is they are looking for. They feel immensely dissatisfied with the lives they are stuck with and find suicide to be the only alternative. The two books, Madame Bovary, written in 1857 and The Awakening, written in 1899, both have the theme of confinement and free-will, yet differ vastly with respect to the yearnings of the main characters.... [tags: Madame bovary Awakening Compare Essays]
1749 words (5 pages)
- "The Doctor was a semi-retired physician, resting, as the saying is, upon his laurels. He bore a reputation for wisdom rather than skill.. .and was much sought for in matters of consultation."(64-65) Although this description defines the role of the Doctor throughout the novel, it does not do him justice regarding the depths of his intuitive abilities. Doctor Mandelet was a healer indeed-not of the body but of the mind. In spite of being a male, he does not fit into the stereotype, and seems to understand, though not fully, the identity conflicts tormenting Edna Pontellier.... [tags: The Awakening Essays]
744 words (2.1 pages)
- The Controversial Views in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Kate Chopin's The Awakening is truly a novel that stands out from the rest. From the moment it was published, it has been caused women to examine their beliefs. The fact that The Awakening was shunned when first published, yet now taught in classrooms across the country is proof that The Awakening is full of rebellious and controversial ideas. One of the main themes explored in The Awakening is that of a woman's place in society.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- The Awakening: Romanticism, Realism, and Local Color Imagine being far out into the middle of the ocean and at that moment, having to make a choice between judgment and individuality, death and life. In 1899, Kate Chopin composed a captivating novel titled The Awakening. Throughout Chopin's day, the work was regarded as nonsense and a waste of time on her part. Critics found the main character's rebellion to be foolish and unlawful. At that age, it was believed firmly that women should be nothing less than completely loyal to their husbands and should joyfully care for any children that they had while their spouse was away, hard at work.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
1129 words (3.2 pages)
- A Reader Response to The Awakening The Awakening is a story that was written when women weren't allowed to be independent. Kate Chopin was even criticized for the main character's conduct; "Certainly there is throughout the story an undercurrent of sympathy of Edna, and nowhere a single note of censure of her totally unjustifiable conduct" and another said; "the purport of the story can hardly be described in language fit for publication." But who can blame them. Edna was a bold woman. She was independent, kept male friends, felt passion, was disrespectful to her husband and did not spend much time with her children.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- The Awakening Edna’s awakening, from the beginning in Grand Isle, to her life in New Orleans and finally her death back in Grand Isle, takes place quite suddenly. She goes from a quiet, reserved lady, to an outspoken, strong-willed woman. Despite this dramatic change, one characteristic remained constant throughout the book. She was very confused about who she was and what she wanted in life. She is pursued by Robert, and is surprised when feelings for him stir inside her. At the beginning of the book, she dismisses him, mainly because she was married.... [tags: Essays Papers]
594 words (1.7 pages)