Oppression In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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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…show more content…
Chopin’s focuses were to show through these objects and literary symbols, the social injustices that women were going through. “The Awakening” begins with a parrot in a cage, which is supposed to be a representation of women of that time period. Just like parrots, women were annoying and were only displayed for their beauty. Moreover, women were trapped in cages which caused them to not be free. Since women were not free they remained trapped and imposed to the roles that society had labeled and stereotyped them to be. Edna Pontellier was only seen as a “valuable piece of property which [had] suffered some damaged” to her husband Mr. Pontellier (BOOK). One can also see that “The Awakening” also focused on the sexual desires of women, identity, and self-discovery Edna, a character in “The Awakening” experienced her awakening by discovering her identity in her own self. “The Awakening” attempts to tell the story a woman who wants to find herself while lusting. Later, at the end of the story, one discovers that since Edna Pontellier could not fully find her peace, and freedom she ultimately decides to commit suicide. Through this “The Awakening” shows that although women were oppressed, they also had empowerment. In the story, the only place where Edna could experience freedom and find her awakening was the sea. Thus, when she commits suicide one can see how the sea was the root for Edna finding her self-discovery. Through suicide individuals can see how it was the only escape for a woman who was living under oppression. Suicide not only shows that oppression was impossible to escape for a woman, but at the the same time it shows that suicide was the only way
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