Free Awakening Essays: A Reader Response

Satisfactory Essays
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. Edna was an independent women when women were not allowed to be independent. She openly defied her husband. Remember at the lake when she decided she did not want to go inside when her husband told her to and the fact the she would not go to New York to be with her husband. After he left she decided to use her own money, and deliberately would not use his things in her new/ pigeon house was another example of this. She even made a big deal of having him "pay" for her party. She wanted to express herself and to become creative, which Chopin shows through her art. Edna also starts to associate with art-type people, musicians. I sometimes wonder why she started to hang around the pianist when she obviously didn't like her during the summer. Was this Edna's way to explore her artistic talents, or was it to get closer to Robert?

Edna's husband appears to be the stereotypical husband of his time. He stayed away most of the time in the summer, visiting on weekends at the beach cottage, but spending allot of time with his male friends playing card games. He appears to love his family, but is hugely critical of Edna. He complains to her about the children, the maids and the food. I don't remember their being pleasant and loving words between the two of them, there was show of emotion, but only when he was leaving. Mr. P. never realizes that his wife might want to be her own person, have her own interest beside having visitors, making sure his dinner is good and being his wife. When the Doctor tells him to be gentle to his wife and not quarrel with her, that things will pass, it gives him another reason to break free from a family that he has already emotionally distracted from anyway.
Get Access