Feminism in "The Awakening" Essay

Feminism in "The Awakening" Essay

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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""

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