The Awakening by Kate Chopin

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The Awakening is a novel written by Kate Chopin. The story takes place in the 19th century, in a Victorian society. The Awakening focuses on Edna who is the protagonist in the story, and she is the wife to Mr. Pontellier. It is a story about a woman who tried to transform herself from a housewife and mother into an independent woman but she was not successful. Edna was just a normal wife like the other women in the nineteenth century who played the full role of an ideal woman who obeyed her husband, and cared for her kids. Edna now gets an idea that women need to be independent, and she longs for self-actualization and empowerment. Her husband was dictatorial and never gave her the attention she required and never even took care of the children. She fell in love with another man while still married, and this goes against what the society demands from her as a married woman. Edna pursues her desire of being independent but in the end of the novel, she commits suicide to end all her pain of being hurt by her lover who left her.

The awakening is a story that explores a woman’s desire to find, and live and an independent life, away from her husband. Edna realized that she was not happy with her life and the position the society had given her. Edna was devoted and determined to be independent, and she really worked hard for it by giving all her life for it. The protagonist moved out of her husband’s house when she started earning her own money. She was obsessed with the idea of becoming an independent woman, and she only thought that she can only become independent when she is away from her husband. She abandoned Robert her husband and her children in her quest for self actualization. Edna was running away from what the society de...

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...d and children, the protagonist wanted more from life and this led to her downfall ultimately. She strayed from her responsibilities as a mother and wife, and embraced her intense desire for self fulfillment which she never got in her relationships. Edna in the end committed suicide to escape from the oppressions of the Victorian society she was living in. The Awakening is a novel that exemplifies the attempt of American women’s escape from personal and domestic bondage and oppression from a patriarchal society.

Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Naugatuck, CT: Brandywine Studio Press, 2008.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Dover Publications, 1993. Print.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York, NY: Bantam Classic, 1981. Print.

Roscher, Marina L. "The Suicide of Edna Pontellier: An Ambiguous Ending?" Southern Studies 23.3 (1984): 289 97.
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