Sexuality And Feminism In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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In the 19th century, a group of people launched the suffrage movement, and they cared about women’s political rights, their property and their body liberty. Born in that age, Kate Chopin was aware of the importance of setting an example for those who were taken in by the reality and poor women to be an inspiration. So we call her a forerunner of the feminist author for every effort she put in advocating women’s sexuality, their self-identity and women’s own strength. When people were ashamed of talking about sexuality, Kate Chopin stood out and call for women’s sexual autonomy. She wrote a short story The Awakening, which took place in New Orleans and told the struggle of Edna, a housewife and a mother, whether she should follow her heart or respect the tradition. She made the choice of rebelling the past and she started to seek for herself. It was an extreme role, once she realized what she is then she abandoned everything she had in the past; and she wanted to be set free from her family role and motherhood. “The years that are gone seem like dreams—if one might go on sleeping and dreaming—but to wake up and find—oh! Well! Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.” It was drawn from a conversation Edna has with Doctor Mandelet in the book. She showed clearly her mind that all the sufferings she paid were worth more than lived in semi-conscious submission for her whole life time. She sought for
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