During the 1890’s until today, the roles of women and their rights have severely changed. They have been inferior, submissive, and trapped by their marriage. Women have slowly evolved into individuals that have rights and can represent “feminine individuality”. The fact that they be intended to be house-caring women has changed.
“Adele Ratignolle: Kate Chopin’s Feminist at Home in the Awakening” was written by Kathleen M. Streater and featured in the famous “The Midwest Quarterly”, a famous peer reviewed periodical. Kathleen Streater has not written many articles, which is suggested by doing a thorough research on her background; however, this paricular article is highly quoated. Furthermore, she does not seem to possess in-depth knowledge on Chopin but the arguments made by her in the article are quite convincing and unique. There are many encouraging quotes used by Kathleen, for instance she once argued that Chopin is only concentrating on the radical feminism of Edna which has limited her assessment of feminism to a great extent. This is a unique argument presented
It is common for people in everyday society to conform to society’s expectations while also questioning their true desires. In the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, the main protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess, "That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that questions." In other words, Edna outwardly conforms while questioning inwardly. Kate Chopin, uses this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning to build the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period.
In the late 1800s, nearly all women were viewed as subservient, inferior, second class females that lived their lives in a patriarchal and chauvinist society. Women often had no voice, identity, or independence during that time period. Moreover, women dealt with the horrors of social norms and the gender opposition of societal norms. The primary focus and obligation for a woman to obtain during the 1800s was to serve her husband and to obey to anything he said. Since women were not getting the equality, freedom, or independence that they desired, Kate Chopin, an independent-minded female American novelist of the late 1800s expressed the horrors, oppressions, sadness, and oppositions that women of that time period went through. Her works focused
For many years, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was considered perhaps one of the most scandalous novels written by a woman about a woman’s sexual and spiritual liberation and independence. Much of Chopin’s fiction has been praised as a celebration of female sexuality, conspicuously highlighting the tension between erotic desire and the demands that come from marriage, family life, and society (Martin 1). Unlike other literary contemporaries, Chopin does not attempt to moralize her heroines’ moral frailty, and more importantly she unapologetically allows her heroines’ unconventional sexuality to thrive (Martin 6). Only recently has The Awakening been acknowledged as a well-crafted narrative of Edna Pontellier’s struggle between individuality and
In nearly every person's life, there is an ongoing struggle between the satisfaction of fulfilling one's requirements set by society and the burning desire to live a life independent of restrictions, obstacles, and confinements. While many claim for this to be a temporary struggle, one that is attached to a specific stage of life, specifically adolescence, that is not the case. This internal struggle is one that begins in the early stages of childhood and can extend into adulthood. However, for some, especially in more restrictive societies, this struggle may not even commence until adulthood. In The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, many argue that Mrs. Pontellier's suicide is symbolic of her urge to break free of societal norms and her failure to
Kate Chopin, an author during the antebellum period, discusses the importance of women throughout many of her works. During the antebellum period, women had no rights compared to men and African Americans had even less rights. Women were stereotypical supposed to stay home and care for the children. Kate Chopin viewed women differently, her works put women in a position of power, which cause great controversy during this time. Throughout the short story entitled “Desiree’s Baby,” Kate Chopin includes many examples of racial and gender bias through irony, element of surprise, and symbolism to support that Armand was unaware of his past and ethnic origin, only learning about his parentage from reading a letter discovered at the end of the story.
In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, she uses attitudes towards motherhood to convey a contrast in Madame Ratignolle and Edna Pontellier’s mothering techniques. In this book, Chopin describes that women are only useful for marriage, having kids, cooking, cleaning, and other sexist roles. A perfect woman was seen as someone who “worships” their husbands and caters to all. The women’s main goals in life would to be married and have children, and if this did not happen they were seen in society as nothing and that they did not reach their expectation as women. Edna’s rebel towards these expectations allow her to live the life she wants and to find herself. On the contrary, Adele follows these expectations which have taken over her life, she has been told what to do, with no questions asked, and she moves through life.
In Kate Chopin 's novel The Awakening and the short story “The Story of An Hour” feminist beliefs overshadow the value in moral and societal expectations during the turn of the century. Due to Louise Mallard and Edna Pontellier Victorian life style they both see separating from their husband as the beginning of their freedom. Being free from that culture allows them to invest in their personal interest instead of being limited to what 's expected of them. Chopin 's sacrifices her own dignity for the ideal of society’s expectations. Chopin 's sad, mysterious tone seems to support how in their era, there was a significant lack of women 's rights and freedom of expression.
Chopin wants the reader to realize that in her time, women were stereotyped in a male dominated society. After hearing about her husband’s passing, Mrs. Mallard began to have a sense of peacefulness coming from the outside world. This doesn’t mean that she was happy about the death of her husband, but she felt a newfound independence. Stereotypically, married women were considered to be housewives during the early 1900s. Women were told by their husbands what to do because in those times it was believed that men had higher authority than women. So now that her husband is gone, Mrs. Mallard realizes that she doesn’t feel controlled like she used to.
In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Chopin explores the question “what must a woman forsake in order to be free and to what extent should women be allowed to be free”. Edna originally abides by her husband’s wishes; however, she uncovers the unknown freedom that men openly participate in. In order to achieve freedom, Edna must forsake society and its judgement, men, and friends. Although she attempts to do this, The Awakening evaluates the amount of freedom a woman should be granted by portraying women with differing amounts of freedom: Reisz who lives alone with complete freedom, Adele who abides to her husband’s every will without freedom, and Edna who struggles to achieve absolute freedom. This portrayal of society and women demonstrates the
“No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time.” Laurence Sterne’s quote of mental conflict relates to Kate Chopin’s novel, “The Awakening”, where Chopin’s main character faces contrasting influences concerning her life. The two influences which direct the actions of Chopin’s main character, Edna, are the novel’s contemporary views concerning a woman’s position in society, and Edna’s unorthodox personal opinions. Both opposing impacts form the mental contrast which directs Edna’s inner conflict throughout Chopin’s novel, and Edna’s conflicting influences prove to illuminate the meaning
Feminist analysis of The Storm The rise of the Women’s Movement during 1890’s encouraged many to grant all human beings the same fundamental rights despite one's gender. Traditionally, sexual passion, in a woman's aspect of life, was considered inappropriate and wrong in societal views. Yet, Chopin boldly addresses sexual desire in a woman with a strong feminist tone in The Storm, empowering female sexuality.
In the 1800’s, the societal niche of married women was clearly defined: they were meant to devote every aspect of their lives to their husbands and children. Edna Pontellier, the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, struggles to adhere to these standards, and eventually rebels against them. The harsh standards placed on Edna and other women in the novel are like the cages around the metaphorical birds Chopin uses to represent them. Edna's unhappiness in her societal role is realized in the ocean, which symbolizes this awakening and her attempt to escape the gender roles of the nineteenth century.
While being a woman in modern times is difficult enough with all of our adversities, one can truly appreciate the strength of a woman in 1899. The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a short intimate novel about a woman named Edna who slowly registered her individuality. In the beginning of the novel Edna was glimpsed as a woman of her time, maintaining the societal appearance with her husband and children. However, later on in the novel she surpassed her time by defying the norm and taking the “unknown road” toward independence as a result of her awakenings. The course of Edna’s awakenings was very emotional, unexpected and unfamiliar.