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.
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
Often times when a person is forced to outwardly conform while questioning themselves it leads to a struggle between their inner selves and what is expected of them. Outward conformity often oppresses a character’s true feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, leads a dissatisfactory life. She is stuck in a loveless marriage, and has children, all in an attempt to conform to the social norm of the Victorian woman. However, she inwardly questions whether or not she should try to break free from this life to find her own independence and happiness.
Keir Nason AP English Literature and Composition Mrs. Schroeder January 3, 2018 Politics and literature are far from strange bedfellows. Social commentary and allegory have been tools in the literary toolbox since Ancient Greece, with Plato’s Allegory of The Cave being one of the earliest forms of the device. Science fiction is an entire genre that, at least to a degree, is based upon the premise of looking at the problems of today through the eyes of tomorrow. Oftentime, authors seek to tackle the issues of their time within their writing, and Kate Chopin was no different when she published her final work The Awakening in 1899. At the time of The Awakening’s release, many works strived to address the rights of women, with the Suffragette
Abby Kidder Mrs. Schroder Advanced Placement Literature and Composition 3 January 2018 Mrs. Pontellier’s Internal Discoveries Kate Chopin’s The Awakening epitomizes the type of a novel where the main character uncovers his or her true identity and person. Mrs. Pontellier, the main character, risks her well-being, livelihood, and life to find her purpose. She breaks barriers and societal standards in order to attain her desired self. The reader engages with the work alongside Edna as she travels on the path of self discovery.
“If you love something you must set it free, and if it returns then it was meant to be”. This quote is fewer or more words demonstrates the beauty in releasing something for the greater good, which is exactly what took place in the story “The Awakening”. In the story “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin the author uses symbols and motifs through her main character, Edna, to illuminate her feelings and define her actions.
In Kate Chopin’ s novel, The Awakening, there are three identities inside of the female leading role, Edna Pontellier, being a wife, mother and own self. Edna was born in 19th century at the Vitoria period, a patriarchy society, women have low freedom to achieve personal goal. She married with Léonce Pontellier, a wealthy man with Creole descent. After having a child, her life is still unchangeable and as bored as before. Until she encountered Robert Leburn, Mademoiselle Reisz, and Alcée Arobin, her value of self-cognition has changed.
Within the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Madame Ratignolle’s character possesses traits that emphasize, by contrast the characteristics and behavior of Edna Pontellier. Despite being close friends within the novel, Adele and Edna have contrasting views and behaviors that illuminate the theme of female freedom and the tradition of female submission and male domination. Madame Ratignolle and Edna Pontellier are close friends, but their views toward raising children differ fundamentally. Madame Ratignolle would sacrifice her identity to devote herself entirely to her children, household, and husband, whereas Edna would not. Besides their views towards raising children, how they raise their children also differs.
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
“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
family and from pursuing her own interests. Unhappy with her conditions, Edna rebels against them, however this results in her not being accepted in society. Thus, Edna deliberately sacrifices her freedom in a way which Edna’s value of free nonconformity. The sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with the meaning of the work as a whole that there is no place in society for those who do not conform to its expectations.
The beginning of the feminist movement in the 1900’s, sparked much attention from those who lived at this time. The changes in attitude brought forth from the feminist movement made many men feel threatened and uncomfortable. In 1899, Kate Chopin published the feminist novel, The Awakening, which created much controversy. The protagonist of the story, Edna Pontellier, emerges from her own “awakening,” and gains her own independence from breaking away from society. However, her struggle with herself and society overtakes her and Edna’s sudden awakening ends in tragedy.
The Awakening; a Woman's Fight Women’s rights have drastically improved since the 1800’s. The model of patriarchy was widely accepted as a social norm in America and many other countries until the early to mid 1900’s. Today women are still fighting the belittlement that the patriarchal model deemed acceptable. The character of the rebellious strong women is still one today that many women look up to; especially women in very oppressive middle east countries. In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Chopin strives to argue social emancipation for women
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is a piece of fiction written in the nineteenth century. The protagonist Edna is a controversial character, Edna rebels against many nineteenth - century traditions, but her close friend Adele was a perfect example in terms of a role of a woman, mother and wife at that time. Chopin uses contrast characters to highlight the difference between Adele and Edna. Although they are both married women in the nineteenth century, they also exhibit many different views about what a mother role should be.
In Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” shows a controversial protagonist, Edna Pontellier. The character in the novel showed different expectations for women and their supposed roles. One literary critic, Megan Kaplon showed how this novel can be viewed as a struggle of the world or society around her. Edna in the story is trying to find freedom and individuality Kaplon mentions that “one of her most shocking actions was her denial of her role as a mother and wife.”