Henry James And Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Henry James in Daisy Miller: A Study and Kate Chopin in The Awakening present two strong female protagonists, Daisy and Edna respectively. Both authors exhibit realist elements throughout to truly bring their characters to life. Henry James paints a picture of the difference between American and European ideals within the story primarily through the eyes of two Americans in Europe, Daisy and Winterbourne. James uses both common American vernacular speech and formal English to enhance the binary between the new and the old. The character, Daisy is spontaneous and seemingly carefree to represent the new world of America, whereas another character, Winterbourne, is rational and assimilated to European culture to represent the old ideals of Europe. James gives us an entrance into his own thoughts through authorial intrusion. James leaves the reader believing the story is told in an unbiased way, when that is not quite the case. This can be seen when he corrects himself saying, “When his enemies spoke of [Winterbourne] they said—but, after all, he had no enemies; he was an extremely amiable fellow” (411). Kate Chopin’s The Awakening shows the transformation of Edna Pontellier from a well-off, happy yet passive housewife to a promiscuous and adventurous free spirit. Chopin targets the myth of motherhood being the defining characteristic of women through Edna’s character. Edna and Chopin herself were well ahead of their time. Edna is shaped by her avoidance of being a mother-woman,

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