The Typical Role of Women in the Late 19th Century in the Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Typical Role of Women in the Late 19th Century in the Awakening by Kate Chopin

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Sojourner Truth’s words in her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” served as an anthem for women everywhere during her time. Truth struggled with not only racial injustice but also gender inequality that made her less than a person, and second to men in society. In her speech, she warned men of “the upside down” world against the power of women where “together, [women] ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!” Today, America proudly stands thinking that Truth’s uneasiness of gender inequality was put to rest. Oppression for women, however, continues to exist American literature has successfully captured and exposed shifts in attitude towards women and their roles throughout American history.
As a result of being considered less than a man, women have been molded to fit into society’s expectations. The typical role of women in the late 19th century was that of a mother-wife, which involved staying home, nursing the children, tending their husband’s needs, and cleaning. Such traditional role was challenged in Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening. Edna Pontellier, the pr...

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