The Awakening Summary

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Title: The Awakening
Author: Kate Chopin
Setting: Grand Isle and New Orleans in the early 19th century
Genre: Tragedy
Historical context: The Awakening takes place when women were seen as a man’s possession. Mr. Pontellier looks at Edna as a possession. Women were expected to stay devoted to their husband and children and remain a stereotypical housewife whose main job is to clean, cook and care for the children. (Adele) Edna rivals against these standards as she challenges society 's expectations of women during the early 19th century.
Plot Summary:
Mr. and Mrs. Pontellier are on their summer vacation at Grand Isle. There, Edna has an affair with Robert which starts her awakening. From then on, she goes into a rebirth and takes actions in
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Edna is struggling to choose a identity between a mother, wife, lover etc. She seems to not want to be subject as the possession of anybody. She focuses on independence even denying Robert of her love towards him which if she chose to stay with him, she would be associated with him and therefore labeled. She looks up to Madame Reisz as an independent woman, pursuing her passions and doing as she pleases. "I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn 't give…show more content…
We can tell that they are expensive since Robert choses to smoke cigarettes because of the price and when Mr. Pontellier presented him with a cigar, he saved it and chose to smoke a cigarette. The dominant male seems to smoke cigars as Mr. Pontellier repeatedly sits back and smokes a cigar in the book. Woman were not allowed to smoke cigars which also shows how the cigar was a representation of power and dominance. Both Robert and LEonce are shown smoking cigars and in the end both care more about reputation than their love for Edna.
Bird: symbolize freedom and independence in the novel, the awakening. Birds are able to roam free and do as they please rather than being subjected to society 's standards and help down rather than flying. The bird with a broken wing flying above before Enda swam into the ocean and drowned represented her current state. She could not continue to fight even though she remain strong in the beginning. The caged parrot in the beginning of the novel represented how women were caged by society during those times and were removed if they caused some sort of recuse.
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