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.
Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 6: American Naturalism: Kate Chopin (1851-1904)." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature A Research and Reference Guide. WWW URL: http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap6/chopin.html (May 28, 1998). Seyersted, Per. Kate Chopin, A Critical Biography.
Print. Seyersted, Per. Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969. Print.
Per Seyersted. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1989. Culley, Margo, ed. A Norton Critical Edition: Kate Chopin: The Awakening. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.
While many women felt dissatisfied with their lives, they would not come out and say it. However, in 1899, Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening, which showed women that they were not alone. This novel showed the discriminatory views and treatment towards women. It also distinctly indicates the dissatisfaction that women felt in their lives. Because of the roles that society has given them, women are not able to seek and fulfill their own psychological and sexual drives.
Edna is a young woman who discovers that her pampered married life is not what she wants. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ory in such a way that Edna has come to know herself, her true self, and does not need to continue living and searching. Kate Chopin's success as a writer plummeted after the release of The Awakening. It has been noted that contemporary critics were shocked at the way Chopin portrayed Edna Pontellier. Edna's character violated the codes of the behavior of nineteenth-century American women.
Print. 2. Doreski, William. "Frost, Robert 1874—1963." American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, Retrospective Supplement 1.
“Romantic Imagery in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.” American Literature 43.4 (1972): 580-588. Rubin, Louis, ed. The Complete Works of Kate Chopin. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997. Turner, Frederick Jackson.
Patriarchal Society and the Erasure of the Feminine Self in The Story of an Hour Critical readings of Chopin’s works often note the tension between female characters and the society that surrounds them. Margaret Bauer suggests that Chopin is concerned with exploring the “dynamic interrelation between women and men, women and patriarchy, even women and women” (146). Often, critics focus on the importance of conflict in these works and the way in which Chopin uses gender constraints on two levels, to open an avenue for the discussion of feminine identity and, at the same time, to critique the patriarchal society that denies that identity. Kay Butler suggests that “entrapment, not freedom, is the source of Chopin’s inspiration, for she is primarily concerned with exploring the way in which gender roles deny identity”; she continues: “yet without the entrapment, the question of identity, even the inspiration to write about identity, wouldn’t exist” (18). 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.