Sometimes people need to find their true selves and when we do that we find our true happiness and sometimes you gain things you never had or thought you needed. In the book, Edna begins the process of identifying her true self, the self that exists apart from the identity she maintains as a wife and mother, Robert unknowingly encourages her by indulging her emerging sensuality (Houghton). Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening to show people of the nineteenth century society and the upcoming generations, how hard women had to struggle to overcome their differing emotions and the coercion of society’s tradition to become more than just personal property for men to control. Stated by Mademoiselle Reiz: “the bird that would ... ... middle of paper ... ...y, Peter. Beginning Theory.
Kate Chopin uses the character, Edna Pontellier, to show her points of female expression. Throughout The Awakening, Chopin shows her themes of female privilege and sexual desires throughout the characters. Edna is a dynamic character and her husband is static character who both reflects the changing attitudes of society towards women in the 1900s through present day. . The author, Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 8, 1850 becoming the second child of
Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” most poignantly balances the dual focus of her work, describing the incipient awakening of Mrs. Mallard, and thus exploring the possibility of feminine identity, even while, ultimately, denying the fruition of such an experience. Like all of her works, this short story reacts to a specific historical framework, the Cult of True Womanhood, in its indictment of patriarchal culture. As Barbara Welter notes, in the nineteenth century, “a women judged herself and was judged by her husband, her neighbors, and society” by the attributes of a True Woman which included, especially, “purity” and “domesticity” (372). The concept of purity, because it suggested that women must maintain their virtue, also, paradoxically, denied the... ... middle of paper ... ... Story of an Hour.’” CLA Journal 16 (November 1994): 59-64. Bauer, Margaret.
Modernism is expressed in Kate’s writing when she portrays feminine individuality through her characters. Modernism was a time where there was experimentation of expression and Kate Chopin took advantage of this freedom as a writer. Kate Chopin, through experiencing many personal hardships, was able to view the world around her in a unique and altered manner- extremely unique to her time period- however, these interesting and daring perspectives allowed her to be one of the most memorable of the female writers in the time period of modernism in the U.S. today. Though some still argue the effects and challenges of birth order, Kate Chopin proved to be audacious and overcome the arduous challenges of losing her birth order. At a younger age Chopin’s siblings all passed and this eventually resulted in her becoming an only child.
In the late 1800s, a crusade began that campaigned for the rights of women across America: the Feminist Movement. Using this movement as inspiration, Kate Chopin bewitches her primarily female readers with a writing style that emphasizes the importance of emotion and encourages the independence of women in a world dominated by men. In her novel, The Awakening, Chopin flawlessly illustrates the radical yet alluring character transformation of her protagonist, Edna Pontellier, as she struggles to surmount marital and societal conflict in the hopes of being reborn. 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.
Strength in Struggle Many readers see the actions of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening as those of a feminist martyr. Edna not only defies her husband and commits adultery, but chooses death over life in a society that will not grant her gender equality. Although this reading may fit, it is misguided in that it ignores a basic aspect of Chopin’s work, the force that causes Mrs. Mallard’s happiness in “The Story of an Hour” upon the news of her husbands death, “that blind persistence in which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature” (Chopin 353). While it is true that when Chopin wrote, women were most likely to be denied the pursuit of individuality, analyzing her work through a strictly gender minded lens limits her impact. The importance of Chopin’s work is the portrayal of characters who are engaged in the pursuit of an idiosyncratic desire.
A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. New York: Basic Books, 2011. 42. Friedan, Betty. Life So Far: A Memoir.
Controversial Views in Kate Chopin's The Awakening "Too strong a drink for moral babies, and should be labeled `poison'." was the how the Republic described Kate Chopin's most famous novel The Awakening (Seyersted 174). This was not only the view of one magazine, but it summarized the feelings of society as a whole. Chopin woke up people to the feelings and minds of women. Even though her ideas were controversial at first, slowly over the decades people began to accept them.
Women who wished to comment politically did so with some form of art, including music, painting, and writing (Magill, American 387). According to Frank Magill, when a woman considers herself only as a part of a relationship with someone, then that relationship becomes the central issue of her life (American 386). As a woman whose husband died young, leaving her six children to raise alone, Chopin understands that kind of dependency upon relationships (Magill, American 384). Almost as working out of her own role, she explores in her writing the complexity between men and women. Readers realize that Chopin's writing in the 1890s was far ahead of ... ... middle of paper ... ...'The Storm'."
Edna Pontellier’s character in The Awakening has been the source of the novel’s controversial assessment by critics since it’s publication in 1899. The author, Kate Chopin, officially began writing in 1885 and composed novels that challenged the many conflicting social standards in that time period. The late 1800s, predominantly known for the Industrial Revolution, served as a beacon of opportunity for women during this era. Chopin wrote The Awakening to be used as an instrument to eradicate the accepted impression of gender roles in society: women are more than submissive tools to their oppressive counterparts in this masculine dominated world. Chopin’s ideology originated from the lessons and wisdom of her great-grandmother who encouraged her to read unconventional concepts: women were capable of obtaining and maintaining a successful career as well as a thriving family and social life.