Although the two critics share the above ideas, their theories, although quite similar, embrace the homosocial relationships of Edna and the other women of the novel to varying degrees. They both agree, however, that having lost her mother at an early age and being under the care of her conservative, overbearing sister and strict Presbyterian father, Edna had little experience in having relationships with other women. We know that when she first encounters the culture of the Creole people, she is quite taken back and not generally pleased with the openness of the women ...
... middle of paper ...
...s which helped to fill a missing piece in her life; a piece which no man had been able to fill. After reading both critics papers, I certainly gained another perspective on Chopin’s work. I would have to say, however, that my own close reading of the story would elicit a response closer to that of Showalter rather than of LeBlanc. I cannot, other than superficially, see the characters of The Awakening as lesbians.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Second Edition. Ed. Nancy Walker. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000.
LeBlanc, Elizabeth. “The Metaphorical Lesbian: Edna Pontellier in The Awakening”. Ed. Nancy Walker.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. Print. 237-256
Showalter, Elaine. “Tradition and the Female Talent: The Awakening as a Solitary Book”.
Ed. Nancy Walker. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. Print. 202-222
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