There emerged female authored literature that addressed exuberance and despair. It brought to the fore the dreams of victory and the defeat of violence. This is well illustrated in the fiction of Kate Chopin, one of the top American authors of the 19th Century. According to Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar who were literary critics, the oscillation between despair and extremes of exuberance is well depicted in Kate Chopin’s literature “The Story of an Hour” (Robinson). In order to be able to fully understand Chopin’s message, readers must envision the tradition of the Victorian society in which Kate lived.
As the book travels on Edna defines this role less and less, as well providing several thoughts formally against it. Other characters in the Awakening such as Mademoiselle Reiz, also do not stand well as perfect examples of how 1800th century women were supposed to behave. Adele was written by Chopin as a friend, alone, in concept that she would provide readers with the standard for American women during this era. Adele loves her life and “She is what all women in her society should be like; she puts her husband and children first, centering her life around her family and her domestic duties(Miller).” Adele is also perceived as woman of self-sacrifice showing almost no interest in her own ambitions, or her own cares. This sets the stage for Adele as “the 'ideal mother'[which] was a woman who basically forsook all notions of self and desire…[and] would've had almost no life outside of her children (Breazeale, Liz).” This an important concept for the reader to know for them to gain an understanding of how women were meant to act in the setting of the Awakening and that they were expected “to be women that idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels (Chopin 4).” By providing a character like Adele who is such
Since the beginning of documentation in society, writers have been producing works that reflect the socio-political patterns of their time. In any case, it is a literary novelty to be graced with an authentic piece of history, created during the time of historic inception. Novelist Jane Austen’s late work, Emma, is no exception. Set in the fictional small town of Highbury, England, Austen covers all the bases of documenting the early decades of the 19th-century. Perhaps one could recognize for her work to the toon of feminist characterization, as Austen uses female heroines as the main character of Emma and notable others such as Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park.
The term “New Woman” was coined by the writer and speaker Sarah Grand in 1894 it was a feminist ideal that emerged in the late nineteenth century a time where women were subdued and were not given desirable status and rights . It soon became a popular and a catchy-phrase in newspapers and books and journals. The New Woman, a significant cultural icon of the of the time, originated from the stereotypical Victorian woman who was exactly an opposite of the women which was being portrayed from centuries. She was intelligent, educated, emancipated, independent and self-supporting and a one who could take stand for herself. The New Women were not only middle-class female radicals, but also factory and office workers.
It wasn’t until after thirty years later that her work resurfaced and began to get the recognition it deserved. In the time the novel was written, divorce was not allowed, much less having an affair outside of the marriage and neglecting of womanly duties was not acceptable. “Her novel also served as ammunition in the fight to bring insight and awareness to women's issues” (Sprinkle, 1998). Today, The Awakening is seen as a brilliant piece which reveals various themes and topics, while lending itself to be explored through numerous lens, within this essay, the primary focus will be looking at the novel through a feminist lens and the transition that Enda makes within her
Thomas Hardy, who was born in 1840, spent most of his life and composed his novels in the century which saw the social position and inequality among the woman. The so- called woman question and the beginnings of the women’s movement were soon seen in fiction, “Over and over again in the 19th century novels, fictional women act out the conflict between their ideological preparation for inclusion in social project, and their actual experience”. This contributed to the creation of extraordinary woman characters in Hardy’s fiction among the others. Hardy’s woman characters found to be strong and unconventional and spend much of their lives struggling against the restrictions imposed on them by society. The struggle for liberation brought the solid response from the individuals who has been in power thus far.
The concept of Independence and Self- Expression During the nineteenth century, writers like Henry James and Kate Chopin write about women who are depressed and suppressed. Daisy Miller and The Awakening are representations of beautiful and well-dressed women who are in a state over a discontent. These two works picture the life of the Anglo-Saxon bourgeoisie. Daisy and Edna are forced to respect the traditional cultural structures. They are shaped to perform their domestic role.
In fact, it is a rather popular topic still today. However, Chopin wanted to move beyond ordinary themes, to write about something no woman dared to write about before. Female topics were, prior to Chopin, dominated by the cult of domesticity, as were all spheres of life, and Chopin took her writing further. “The cult of domesticity was potentially stifling to those women who saw themselves as modern.” Kate Chopin was one of those women – caught between two worlds, Victorian ideals which were still strong and new modernist ideas which were emerging. For the first time, some women had a choice between motherhood and professional career and shockingly some of them choose the latter.
But nobody could climb through that pattern—it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads.” (Gilman, 1997, pp. 92-93) Realism start ground much in the nineteenth century, where many writers start writing to determine the freedom of women. Among famous writers in that time were Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who was part of William Dean Howells’s writing “The American Girl” created to help the European literature introduce this idea. “Realism was not merely a literary technique: It was a way of speaking truth and exploding worn-out conventions” Kathryn VanSpanckeren claims in Outline of American Literature. When realism and naturalism where supported in America, Kate Chopin was known as one of most influential in the years.
Reflecting on Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Showalter faces the similar issue of women’s exclusion from the academy. Charting a long history of literary women, she drives attention to undervalued nineteenth-century writers such as Sarah Grand, George Egerton. Rather than defining a ‘universal’ woman’s text, Showalter preferred to identify a female ‘subculture’ which created those texts. She argues that, with the reemergence of a Women’s Liberation Movement in England and in America around 1960s and 1970s, scholarship generated by contemporary feminist movement has led to an increase in sensitivity to the problems of sexual bias or projection in literary history. And one of the most significant contributions has been the unearthing and reinterpretation of “lost” works by women writers, and the documentation of their lives and careers.