The Impact of Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, and Local Color on The Awakening

The Impact of Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, and Local Color on The Awakening

Length: 1330 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

 
      Four major literary movements can claim some aspect of The Awakening, for in this "small compass . . . [is illustrated] virtually all the major American intellectual and literary trends of the nineteenth century" (Skaggs, 80).    The Romantic movement marked a profound shift in sensibilities away from the Enlightenment. It was inspired by reaction to that period's concepts of clarity, order, and balance, and by the revolutions in America, France, Poland, and Greece. It expressed the assertion of the self, the power of the individual, a sense of the infinite, and transcendental nature of the universe. Major themes included the sublime, terror, and passion. The writing extolled the primal power of nature and the spiritual link between nature and man, and was often emotional, marked by a sense of liberty, filled with dreamy inner contemplations, exotic settings, memories of childhood, scenes of unrequited love, and exiled heroes.

 

In America, Romanticism coalesced into a distinctly "American" ideal: making success from failure, the immensity of the American landscape, the power of man to conquer the land, and "Yankee" individualism. The writing was also marked by a type of xenophobia. Protestant America was faced with an influx of Catholic refugees from the Napoleonic Wars, of Asian workers who constructed the railroads, and the lingering issue of Native Americans. An insular attitude developed, the "us and them" in Whitman. The major writers of the period were Irving, Cooper, Emerson, Poe, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Whitman, Dickinson, and Melville.

 

There are various romantic elements in The Awakening. Perhaps the most obvious and elemental are the exotic locale, use of color, and heavy emphasis on nature (cl...


... middle of paper ...


...cause Robert to leave.

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Chopin, Kate, The Awakening; A Solitary Soul. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1992

Delbanco, Andrew. "The Half-Life of Edna Pontellier." New Essays on The Awakening. Ed. Wendy Martin. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. 89-106.

Koloski, Bernard, ed. Preface. Approaches to Teaching Chopin's The Awakening. By Koloski. New York: MLA, 1988.

Martin, Wendy, ed. New Essays on the Awakening. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988.

May, John R. "Local Color in The Awakening." Culley, 189-95.

Seyersted, Per. Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1969.

 - - -. "Kate Chopin and the American Realists." Culley 180-6.

Skaggs, Peggy. "Three Tragic Figures in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." Louisiana Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 4 (1974): 345-64.  

 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Romanticism, Realism and Local Color in The Awakening Essay

- Romanticism, Realism and Local Color in The Awakening Kate Chopin is an author who was born in 1851 and died in 1904. Her father died when she was young, and her husband died when she was thirty-one leaving her with six children. Due to this, she had little male influence throughout her life. This may possibly be why she had so little inhibition when writing her novels. She seemed to concentrate on the oppression of women and presented socially unacceptable ideas at the time of their publication....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Strong Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

The Awakening: Romanticism, Realism, and Local Color Essay

- The Awakening: Romanticism, Realism, and Local Color Imagine being far out into the middle of the ocean and at that moment, having to make a choice between judgment and individuality, death and life. In 1899, Kate Chopin composed a captivating novel titled The Awakening. Throughout Chopin's day, the work was regarded as nonsense and a waste of time on her part. Critics found the main character's rebellion to be foolish and unlawful. At that age, it was believed firmly that women should be nothing less than completely loyal to their husbands and should joyfully care for any children that they had while their spouse was away, hard at work....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Strong Essays
1129 words (3.2 pages)

Free Awakening Essays: Romanticism

- Romanticism in The Awakening Even though it was written in the Victorian era, Kate Chopin's The Awakening has several romantic qualities, especially with the main character, as she struggles between society's obligations and her own desires. Chopin writes about a woman who continues to reject the society around her, a notion too radical for Chopin's peers. Edna Pontellier has the traditional role of both wife and mother, but deep down she wants something more, difficult to do in the restricted Victorian society....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
528 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on The Awakening as Romantic, Realistic, and Local Color Writing

- The Awakening as an Example of  Romantic, Realistic, and Local Color Writing A fair woman slowly, but surely, makes her way into the water.  It is obvious that she is slightly afraid, but not to the point where she is willing to stop progressing into the gradually deepening water.  She believes that after she lets the water grab her life, everything will be fine.  Sounds appealing?  I did not think so.  However, Edna Pontellier thinks that this is the best option for her.  Drowning seems to be the only way out.  The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, describes Edna Pontellier's battle against society, and how she decides to handle this battle.  This novel was considered an immoral piece of liter...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Strong Essays
814 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Raft of the Medusa and the Roots of Romanticism

- The transition from Neoclassicism to Romanticism arose from a desire for freedom of thought. Romantics truly believed that the pathway to freedom was through imagination rather than logic and functioned based on emotion rather than on cognition. The Romantic Movement recognized passion and sentiment as genuine sources of aesthetic experience, and placed a new emphasis on sensations such as apprehension, awe, horror and the sublimity of untamed nature. Théodore Géricault, who is most famously known for The Raft of the Medusa, was a prominent French painter and one of the most influential pioneers of the Romantic Movement....   [tags: neoclassicism, romanticism, imagination]

Strong Essays
1463 words (4.2 pages)

Free Essays - Impact of the Title of The Awakening

- Impact of the Title of The Awakening By using an evocative title like In The Awakening, Kate Chopin creates a spark of interest that makes the reader ponder over the events in the novel, wondering if there's more to the story than the text. Chopin's title is as figurative as her novel; The awakening is not in a literal since, as one would expect, but rather in terms of Edna's "awakening" from her life of ignorant servitude to society, which shows that the purpose of her work is to get her readers to think for themselves....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]

Free Essays
360 words (1 pages)

Essay on Romanticism

- Romanticism Romanticism began in the mid-18th century and reached its height in the 19th century. It was limited to Europe and America although different compatriots donated to its birth and popularity. Romanticism as a movement declined in the late 19th century and early 20th century with the growing dominance of Realism in the arts and the rapid advancement of science and technology. However, Romanticism was very impressionative on most individuals during its time. This was because it was expressed in three main aspects of life: literature, art, and music....   [tags: Romanticism Essays]

Strong Essays
507 words (1.4 pages)

Romanticism Essay

- Romanticism Romanticism is a movement in the arts that flourished in Europe and America throughout much of the 19th century from the period of the French revolution in 1789. Romantic artists’ glorified nature, idealized the past, and celebrated the divinity of creation. There is a fundamental emphasis on freedom of self expression, sincerity, spontaneity and originality. The movement rebelled against classicism, and artists turned to sources of inspiration for subject matter and artistic style....   [tags: Romanticism Essays]

Strong Essays
1506 words (4.3 pages)

Romanticism Essays

- Romanticism “ Bells bells bells bells bells bells bells” this quote from Edgar Allen Poes’ The Bells, is one poem that had great influence on early 19th century literature. During the early 1800’s , writers Poe, Irving, and Cooper display characteristics of Romantic writers. Cooper diplays characters with honest expression to their feelings. This appeal to emotion rather then reason is one characteristic of Romanticism. “Deerslayer raised the Indian in his arms, and carried him to the lake…..and took the head of his wounded adversary in his own lap, and endeavored to sooth his anguish in the best manner he could”....   [tags: Romanticism Essays]

Free Essays
596 words (1.7 pages)

Romanticism Essay

- Romanticism When we think of romance or romantic we often associate the term with love. People talk about how they want their significant others to be more ‘romantic’. But what does the term ‘romantic’ really mean. Does it mean giving flowers, spending an evening alone by candlelight, bringing home extravagant gifts, or reciting beautiful poetry. Within today’s society it can mean any one of those things and many more. But in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century (1780-1830)Romance was considered something different altogether....   [tags: Romanticism Essays]

Strong Essays
669 words (1.9 pages)