In “The Metaphorical Lesbian: Edna Pontellier in The Awakening” Elizabeth LeBlanc asserts that the character Edna Pontellier is an example of what Bonnie Zimmerman calls the “metaphorical lesbian.” It’s important to distinguish between Zimmerman’s concept of the “metaphorical lesbian” and lesbianism. The “metaphorical lesbian” does not have to act on lesbian feelings or even become conscious of herself as a lesbian. Instead, the “metaphorical lesbian” creates a space for woman-identified relationships and experiences in a heterosexually hegemonic environment.
In LeBlanc’s words, “I am suggesting…that the presence of lesbian motifs and manifestations in the text offers a little-explored position from which to examine the strategies and tactics by which Edna attempts to establish a subjective identity.” (237) LeBlanc’s support for this analysis comes from a variety of sources including Adrienne Rich’s article “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Experience, Teresa de Lauretis’s, Monique Wittig’s and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s wor...
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- Edna as a Metaphorical Lesbian in Chopin’s The Awakening Elizabeth LeBlanc places The Awakening in an interesting context in her essay “The Metaphorical Lesbian,” as gender criticism must, for Chopin wrote the novel at the end of the 19th century, when homosexuality as an identity emerged culturally, at least in terms of the gay male identity, as proffered by Oscar Wilde across the Atlantic. Lesbianism, too, started to make its debut on the cultural stage, particularly in literature. However, although lesbianism started to emerge during Chopin’s lifetime, it seems doubtful that it played any formative role for Edna’s characterization.... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
548 words (1.6 pages)
- LeBlanc’s Analysis of Sexuality in Chopin’s The Awakening Definitions are tricky things. Such is the conclusion of Ross C. Murfin in his attempts to spell out the major literary theories discussed in our text: "attempts to highlight the difference between feminist and gender criticism are inevitably prone to reductive overgeneralization and occasional distortion"(footnote p.226). Such is the conclusion of gender theorists in general in their pursuit of critiquing the traditional definitions of male/ female, masculine/ feminine, and heterosexual/ homosexual.... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
995 words (2.8 pages)
- A Deconstructionist Critique of Chopin’s The Awakening The multiplicity of meanings and (re)interpretations informing critical studies of The Awakening reveal a novel ripe for deconstructionist critique. Just as Chopin evokes an image of the sea as symbolic of Edna’s shifting consciousness (“never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude,”138), likewise the deconstructionist reading of a text emphasizes fluidity over structure: “A text consists of words inscribed in and inextricable from the myriad discourses that inform it; from the point of view of deconstruction, the boundaries between any given text and that larger text we call langua... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
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- LeBlanc’s Gender Criticism of Chopin’s The Awakening Tomorrow marks thirty years since the Roe vs. Wade decision that gave women a reproductive choice in America. The occasion reminds me that women are continuously struggling to attain and maintain various levels of freedom. Elizabeth LeBlanc’s gender criticism of The Awakening---a novel published before women acquired suffrage---highlights one such freedom: the freedom to live on one’s own terms. The discussion delineates how Kate Chopin’s tale of one woman’s “choices, actions and attitudes may be construed as the attempts of a woman trapped in a sexually (in)different world to reconstitute herself as lesbian” (241).... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
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- In their analytical papers on The Awakening by Kate Chopin, both Elaine Showalter and Elizabeth Le Blanc speak to the importance of homosocial relationship to Edna’s awakenings. They also share the viewpoint that Edna’s return to the sea in the final scene of the book represents Edna being one with her female lover and finding the fulfillment she has been seeking. We see evidence of this idea of the sea as a feminine from Showalter when she tells us that “As the female body is prone to wetness, blood, milk, tears and amniotic fluid, so in drowning the woman is immersed in feminine organic element.... [tags: Kate Chopin, homosocial relationships]
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- . Outline TOPIC QUESTION: How do the settings in the novel relate to Edna’s journey to spiritual awakening to find space for herself in the universe. THESIS: Even though the settings in The Awakening may initially appear to be no more than backgrounds for characters to act out their individual roles in Creole society, the places and buildings described in the novel are used by the author as symbols of the stages of Edna’s spiritual awakening in which she struggles to find a space for herself in the universe outside of the confines of social norms.... [tags: symbol, lesbianism, journey]
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- 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]
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- The Power of Painting in Kate Chopin's The Awakening The Awakening by Kate Chopin displays the struggle a woman goes through in order to break the current status quo. In this novel, Edna Pontellier releases herself to her deepest yearnings, plunging into an immoral relationship that reawakens her long dormant desires, enflames her heart, and eventually blinds her to all else. As she goes through these changes Edna involves herself in many different activities. Painting becomes one of her favorite pastimes and her artwork often depicts an important person in her life.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
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- Contradictory Impulses in Chopin’s The Awakening “Edna Pontellier could not have told why, wishing to go to the beach with Robert, she should in the first place have declined, and in the second place have followed in obedience to one of the two contradictory impulses that impelled her. A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her,--the light which, showing the way, forbids it,” (Chopin 34). The possibility of a life beyond the scope of motherhood, social custom, standards of femininity, and wifedom characterize Kate Chopin’s vision of her heroine’s awakening, but Edna’s personal growth remains stifled by her inability to reconcile the contradictory impulses pulling her in differen... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
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- The Nature of Solitude in Chopin's Novel, The Awakening "The name of the piece was something else, but she called it ‘Solitude.' When she heard it there came before her imagination the figure of a man standing beside a desolate rock on the seashore. He was naked. His attitude was one of hopeless resignation as he looked toward a distant bird winging its flight away from him."(47) "All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in sight. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water...when she was there beside the sea, absolutely alone, she cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the... [tags: Chopin Awakening]
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