The Awakening Publisher Kate Chopin English Literature Essay

Kate Chopin was created in 1850 as Katherine O'Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri. Her family were members were fairly well-off, and members of the Creole social elite. She was an American novelist, and wrote many short reports, but is best known for her novel, The Awakening. She hitched Oscar Chopin in 1870 at age twenty, and transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana, where a lot of her stories happen. Her husband died in 1882, departing Chopin with six children.

Genre(s) and characteristics of genre(s):

The genre of the book is often debated about. The portrayal of feminism in this book is somewhat debated by scholars, who view Edna as a "selfish baby". Even Kate Chopin identifies herself as "neither a feminist nor a suffragette. " Feminism in literature is generally characterized by many different approaches. Based on the dictionary, feminism is "The fact that women and men are, and also have been, treated in different ways by our modern culture, and this women have frequently and systematically been unable to participate fully in all sociable arenas and establishments. " Feminism in literature tends to concentrate on the challenges of women achieving and retaining equality, and the progress within themselves in sensing one's self applied.

Historical information about the time of the novel's environment (The least five facts):

The novel occurs in Grand Isle, from the seacoast of Louisiana in the later nineteenth century. This area includes grand cottages and prosperous Creole families. Within the Creole culture, property and family were put first. This will serve as a contrast to Edna, who places her family behind her as she targets her expansion. Women were expected to settle down, get married, and have children.

Brief plot brief summary (just the highlights please):

This novel follows the so-called "awakening" of Edna Pontellier. She actually is hitched to Leonce Pontellier and has two small children. We learn that she is very centered around herself, and could not give herself up for her family. When a man named Robert LeBrun comes into her life, she discovers what she is convinced to be this is of life, and believes that he has taken her to life. Edna begins expressing herself artistically through the creativity of Mademoiselle Reisz, and begins dropping her duties in her household, such as giving when friends are going to. Robert soon announces that he's giving foe Mexico, after he and Edna show up in love. While he's away, Edna misses him terribly, and becomes much more independent. Her spouse becomes worried about her and her insufficient concern on her behalf family. Thoughts run high when Robert earnings, and Edna finally seems complete. However, Robert realizes that she cannot sacrifice herself and her family for him, and leaves her a note that says, "I love you. Good-by-because I really like you. " The next day, Edna makes her way right down to the beach, undresses, and it is implied that she drowns herself as her final action of rebellion.


Name: Edna Pontellier

Role in the storyplot: Feminine protagonist, wife

Significance to the storyline: The subject is a portrayal of what happens to her, and every one of the activities in the book revolve around her. She is a very intricate personality, who I actually did not enjoy. The book covers her life and her "awakening".

Adjectives that explain the character: complex, psychological, independent, expressive

Name: Robert LeBrun

Role in the story: Edna's solution lover

Significance to the story: Robert will serve as the source for Edna's "awakening". When he ultimately leaves Edna, she commits suicide (roughly we are resulted in believe. )

Adjectives: handsome, charismatic, traditional, passionate

Name: Leonce Pontellier

Role in the storyline: Edna's husband

Significance to the storyplot: As the novel advances, the audience comes to observe how strained his relationship with Edna is, and we observe how they aren't truly in love. He's very worried about how he and his family may actually the general public, and gets irritated with Edna when she does not agree with him.

Adjectives: rich, judgmental, hypocritical

Name: Mademoiselle Reisz

Role in the storyplot: She could be looked at an outsider, because she actually is not wedded and doesn't have children. Edna seeks her insight throughout.

Significance to the storyline: She represents a part of Edna. She introduces Edna to the arts, and demonstrates to her to believe for herself and be indie. Also, she recognizes of Robert and Edna's romance.

Adjectives: imaginative, free-spirited, self-employed, influential, talented

Name: Adele Ratignolle

Role in the story: She actually is Edna's friend, despite their great variances.

Significance to the storyline: Adele signifies the normal Creole woman. She devotes her life to her family (and sometimes Edna's as well) and is the complete reverse of Edna.

Adjectives: simple, ideal, dedicated

Name: The Lady in Black

Role in the story: She is a vacationer on Grand Isle.

Significance to the storyline: She symbolizes a husbandless woman, and when in contrast to the two enthusiasts, it can foreshadow something about love, and exactly how it generally does not last forever.

Adjectives: solemn, depressing, resigned, symbol

Name: BOTH Lovers

Role in the storyline: These are vacationers on Grand Isle.

Significance to the storyline: Both lovers are a primary contrast to the girl in Black, and when they have emerged together, a feeling of foreshadowing about love is seen. Love can perish, and it generally does not last forever. This can relate with the problems Edna is going through.

Adjectives: icons, young, happy

Significant Quotations

Choose five of the following six literary elements. Identify a substantial passage from the storyplot that focuses on each element. Quote the text. After each quote, write the webpage amount, and in at least 2-3 sentences, analyze the importance of your quotation. Why is this important? Exactly what does it reveal? Why does the author say it this way? What is the shade or disposition of the passage? (Do not simply state storyline. )


"The very first chords which Mademoiselle Reisz struck after the piano dispatched a keen tremor down Mrs. Pontellier's spinal column. It had been not the first time she had heard an designer at the piano. Perhaps it was the first time she was ready, perhaps the first time her being was enticed to take an make an impression of the abiding real truth. She waited for the materials pictures, which she thought, would gather and blaze before her creativeness. She waited in vain. She observed no pictures of solitude, of anticipation, of longing, or of despair. However the very passions themselves were aroused within her heart and soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves daily overcome upon her marvelous body. She trembled, she was choking, and the tears blinded her. " - Web pages 34 - 35


This passage targets the theme of manifestation through art, and exactly how to seriously be an musician, one must be an outsider. Both Edna and Mademoiselle Reisz are believed outsiders, and both are creative and affected by the arts, in this case music and the piano. Edna is psychologically activated by the music. In a few paragraphs before, Edna spoke of a bit where she named "Solitude" and exactly how it conjured up images in her brain. However, when Mademoiselle Reisz takes on the piano, "the passions themselves were aroused in her soul. " (pg 34) It really is implied throughout the novel that to be only focused on the arts, must neglect society's popularity.


"Mrs. Pontellier, though she got married a Creole, had not been extensively at home in the culture of the Creoles; nothing you've seen prior possessed she been thrown so intimately included in this. There have been only Creoles that summer time at Lebrun's. Each of them knew one another, and sensed like one large family, among whom been around the most amicable relationships. A feature which recognized them and impressed Mrs. Pontellier most forcibly was their complete absence of prudery.


The modern culture the Edna lives in barely suits what she must thrive. Sometimes I think the audience forgets that Edna is extremely wealthy, and doesn't have to worry about cooking, cleaning, or other careers. Because everything is performed for her, she has time to focus on herself, and her growing independence and freedom. However, Edna tends to stray from the cultural course characterization and the Creole modern culture that surrounds her. She prevents taking callers, and does not properly look after her children, only two examples of how she continuously defies the typical of this time.


"In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman. The mother-woman appeared to prevail that warmer summer months at Grand Isle. It had been easy to learn them, fluttering about with prolonged, safeguarding wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. These were women who idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and expand wings as ministering angels.


The passage acts to establish the environment in which Edna is travelling in. She evidently does not easily fit into, which stark difference in personality is an essential requirement of the setting in the Creole society. Had the novel taken place in a less strict community, or a community with a not as strong moral code, the story could are suffering from very in a different way.


"Edna acquired attempted all summer months to learn to swim. She experienced received instructions from men and women; in some instances from the kids. Robert experienced pursued a system of lessons almost daily; and he was nearly at the idea of discouragement in noticing the futility of his initiatives. A certain ungovernable dread hung about her when in this, unless there was a hand close by that might reach out and reassure her. But that nights she was like the little tottering, stumbling, clutching child, who of a sudden realizes its forces, and strolls for the first time by themselves, boldly and with overconfidence. She can have shouted for pleasure. She does shout for pleasure, much like a sweeping heart stroke or two she raised her body to the top of water. " - Webpages 36 -37


The ocean and Edna learning to swim are major icons that are used to symbolize Edna's "awakening". When Edna learns to swim, she becomes more self-employed, and strong. She became "daring and reckless" and "swam out only" (pg 37) which indicates her new found sense of liberty. The sea is where she first experience the emotions or liberty and manifestation, and the sea is her last destination. Her life began and finished in the sea.


"The Pontelliers possessed a very lovely home on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. It was a large, dual cottage, with a wide front veranda, who rounded, flouted columns reinforced the slopping roofing. The home was painted a amazing white; the outside shutters, or jalousies, were renewable. In the yard, which was retained scrupulously neat, were blooms and plants of each explanation which flourishes in South Louisiana. Within gates the visits were prefect following the conventional type. The softest floor coverings covered the surfaces; abundant and tasteful draperies hung at doors and windows. There were paintings, preferred with judgment, and discrimination, after the walls. The chop glass, the silver, the heavy damask which daily appeared upon the desk were the envy of many women whose husbands were less generous than Mr. Pontellier. " - Webpages 66 - 67


This passage identifies the Pontellier's house, and the grandeur in which they live. While Leonce cares in what his house appears like, and exactly how he and his family may actually the general public, Edna does not give mind to such things. The passage is also quite ironic at the end, because Edna will not see her spouse as large, but she cannot say normally.

Themes stated in complete sentences :

The Awakening consists of an array of themes, all associated with Edna's "awakening".

On my honor I have read this work in its entirety, and this work is exclusively my own unless otherwise directed.


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