Feminism in "The Awakening" Essay

Feminism in "The Awakening" Essay

Length: 1002 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the novel The Awakening, by Kate Chopin the critical approach feminism is a major aspect of the novel. According to dictionary.reference.com the word feminism means, “The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” The Awakening takes place during the late eighteen hundreds to early nineteen hundreds, in New Orleans. The novel is about Edna Pontellier and her family on a summer vacation. Edna, who is a wife and mother, is inferior to her husband, Leonce, and must live by her husband’s desires. While on vacation Edna becomes close friends with Adele Ratignolle, who helps Edna discover she must be “awakened”. Adele is a character who represents the ideal woman. She is loving, compassionate, and motherly. Throughout the novel Edna seeks something more from life than what she has been living. Also, she is unhappy with her marriage, and all through the summer falls in love with Robert Lebrun. Furthermore, Edna attempts to become independent, free, and in control of her own destiny. During this time period the Feminist movement was taking place. The Feminist movement was a time when women fought to prove themselves equal to men. Women fought for the rights to vote, have jobs, and go to school. The late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds showcased the power the women had to prove their equality. According to the excerpt, “Women of Color in The Awakening” by Elizabeth Ammons, “… The Awakening is its heroine’s break for freedom.” Ultimately, this shows how most women, especially Edna Pontellier, try to break free from the burden of society. Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, showcases the feminist critical approach through women’s roles, women characters, influences, and in...


... middle of paper ...


...t Lant’s, “The Siren of the Grand Isle: Adele’s Role in The Awakening” explains that, “… she has learned to swim, and master the waves and moves away from the shore to freedom.” Edna’s death was a way for her to become free. She no longer needed to face the harsh reality that women faced daily, and was in charge of her own self. Also, for the first time Edna was able to make a decision for herself.



Works Cited

Ammons, Elizabeth. "Women of Color in the Awakening."

http://www.dictionary.reference.com.

Women's International Center. "Women's History in
America."Http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm.

Deter, Floramaria. "Kate Chopin: In Search of Freedom Birth and Early Days."Http://classiclit.about.com/cs/articles/a/aa_insearch_2.htm.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. 1899.


Lant, Kathleen M. ""The Siren of Grand Isle: Adeles roles in The Awakening""

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Feminism in "The Awakening" Essay

- In the novel The Awakening, by Kate Chopin the critical approach feminism is a major aspect of the novel. According to dictionary.reference.com the word feminism means, “The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” The Awakening takes place during the late eighteen hundreds to early nineteen hundreds, in New Orleans. The novel is about Edna Pontellier and her family on a summer vacation. Edna, who is a wife and mother, is inferior to her husband, Leonce, and must live by her husband’s desires....   [tags: Literary Themes]

Strong Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Feminism and Emotional Liberation in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay

- Feminism and Emotional Liberation in The Awakening               In our time, the idea of feminism is often portrayed as a modern one, dating back no further than the famous bra-burnings of the 1960s. Perhaps this is due to some unconscious tendency to assume that one's own time is the most enlightened in history. But this tendency is unfortunate, because it does not allow readers to see the precursors of modern ideas in older works. A prime example of this is Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening, which explores the marital infidelities of a woman stuck in a loveless marriage as she searches for her purpose in life....   [tags: Awakening Essays]

Strong Essays
2636 words (7.5 pages)

The Awakening, the author Kate Chopin Essay

- The Awakening of Feminism In the novella The Awakening, the author Kate Chopin depicts the life of a female protagonist named Edna Pontellier. Edna, a wife, a mother and socialite, refuses her societal roles impressed upon her by her husband and peers. Two key female relationships in this story act as a catalyst to Edna Pontellier’s awakening. Edna’s dramatic discovery of self defines her character throughout the novella, detailing her feministic view on the societal roles of Creole women during the late nineteen hundreds....   [tags: creole society, edna, feminism]

Strong Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Feminist Protagonists in The Awakening and A Doll's House Essay

- The Feminist Protagonists in The Awakening and A Doll's House   The idea of women's liberation is a common theme in both Kate Chopin's The Awakening and Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. In her analysis of Feminism in Europe Katharine M. Rogers writes, " Thinking of Nora's painful disillusionment, her parting from her children, and the uncertainties of her future independent career, Ibsen called his play 'the tragedy of modern times'" (82). The main characters in each work, Nora Helmer, in A Doll House, and Edna Pontellier, in The Awakening, portray feminist ideas....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Strong Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening Essay

- Feminism first emerged in the middle of the eighteenth century; at this point they were mainly focused on gaining the right to vote. By 1910, the suffrage movement as it was called was gaining nationwide notoriety and by 1919 had given women the right to vote. However even at the height of the suffrage movement, women’s rights were scarce. Women were denied a large amount of jobs, and the few they could have were both exploitative and discriminatory towards them. In addition to this, women were given few choices for marriage many times it was for status, and for women at this point it was also for their whole life....   [tags: Feminism, Symbolism, CHange]

Strong Essays
897 words (2.6 pages)

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening - The Feminist Awakening Essay

- The Feminist Awakening   Women’s rights have evolved over time; beginning with being homemakers and evolving to obtaining professions, acquiring an education, and gaining the right to vote. The movement that created all these revolutionary changes was called the feminist movement. The feminist movement occurred in the twentieth century. Many people are not aware of the purpose of the feminist movement. The movement was political and social and it sought to set up equality for women. Women’s groups in the United States worked together to win women’s suffrage and later to create and support the Equal Rights Amendment....   [tags: Kate Chopin, The Awakening]

Strong Essays
2101 words (6 pages)

Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay

- During the late nineteenth century, the time of protagonist Edna Pontellier, a woman's place in society was confined to worshipping her children and submitting to her husband. Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, encompasses the frustrations and the triumphs in a woman's life as she attempts to cope with these strict cultural demands. Defying the stereotype of a "mother-woman," Edna battles the pressures of 1899 that command her to be a subdued and devoted housewife. Although Edna's ultimate suicide is a waste of her struggles against an oppressive society, The Awakening supports and encourages feminism as a way for women to obtain sexual freedom, financial independence, and individual identi...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Strong Essays
1882 words (5.4 pages)

Kate Chopin's Awakening - Edna Pontellier as Master of Her Destiny Essay

-          In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the main character, Edna leaves her husband to find place in the world. Edna believes her new sexually independent power will make her master of her own life. But, as Martin points out, she has overestimated her strength and is still hampered by her "limited ability to direct her energy and to master her emotions" (22). Unfortunately, Edna has been educated too much in the traditions of society and not enough in reason and independent survival, admitting to Robert that "we women learn so little of life on the whole" (990)....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Strong Essays
3351 words (9.6 pages)

Edna Pontellier and Social Limitations in Kate Chopin's Awakening Essay

-          In discussing Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, critic Susan Rosowski categorizes the novel under the heading of "the novel of awakening" and differentiates it from the bildungsroman, the apprentice novel, in which the usually male protagonist "learn the nature of the world, discover its meaning and pattern, and acquire a philosophy of life and ‘the art of living'" (Bloom 43). In the novel of awakening, the female protagonist similarly learns about the world, but for the heroine, the world is defined in terms of love and marriage, and "the art of living" comes with a realization that such art is difficult or impossible; the price for the art is often tragic endings....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Strong Essays
4842 words (13.8 pages)

The Awakening of Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House Essay

- The Awakening of Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House    The status of women in the 1800's, when A Doll's House was written, was that of a second-class citizen.  Women did not have the right to vote, own property, or make legal transactions.  The role of women was restricted to that of a housewife.          In A Doll's House, Ibsen does a wonderful job of presenting the character of Nora as person who goes though an awakening about her life.  In the beginning, she concerns herself only with being a perfect wife and mother according to the social norms of the time.  Later, she realizes that she cannot continue just being her husband's shadow.  Eventually, she decides that she has duties...   [tags: Dolls House essays Ibsen Feminism Papers]

Strong Essays
1046 words (3 pages)