Since the s, however, serious critical attention has focused on the pioneering psychological realism, symbolic imagery, and artistic integrity of the work. Biographical Information Born in St. Louis, Missouri, inChopin was the daughter of a prominent businessman and his wife.
Female Characters In Chopins Awakening - words The Struggle to Be a Womyn"Every step which she took toward relieving herselffrom obligations added to her strength and expansion as anindividual" 93 The Awakening by Kate Chopin introduces the reader tothe life of Edna Pontellier, a woman with an independentnature, searching for her true identity in a patriarchalsociety that expects women to be nothing more than devotedwives and nurturing mothers.
In this paper I will describeEdna's journey of self-discovery and explain why herstruggle for independence is no easy task. I will alsodiscuss the relationship Edna has with two other main womencharacters and describe how these women conform or rebelagainst a society with many social constraints.
Finally Iwill discuss how the issues brought up in Chopin's novel arestill relevant today. At first we believe that Grand Isle is a utopia, wealthy families relaxing at oceanside, but it is here whereEdna first begins to realize her unhappiness.
The first signof dissatisfaction is when Edna allows herself to feel thather marriage is unsatisfying; yet she must agree with theother women that Leonce Pontellier is the perfect husband. Edna can now ask herself if she has a good husband and isnot happy than should marriage be a component of her life.
Edna has two close relationships with other males in thebook but both prove unsatisfying, and a block to herindependence. The first relationship is with Robert Lebrun. They swim, they chat on the porch and offer each othercompanionship. This is a flirtatious relationship; arelationship similar to those Robert has had previoussummers with other married women; but different becauseEdna, being a "foreigner" allows herself to take Robertseriously and she falls in love with him.
This proves tragicbecause during the course of the novel the two will pine foreach other but Robert not wanting to mar his reputation as a "gentleman" moves to Mexico. Even after his return the twomeet for a short time and then again Robert flees beforeanything happens.
The second role Edna begins to question is her role asmother. Edna's husband scolds her for her unattentiveness toher children. Although Edna is fond of her children she, unlike the other women on Grand Isle, would rather have anurse look after them Edna says that she would "give up theunessential; I would give my money, I would give my life formy children; but I wouldn't give myself.
She is moved by music. During that summer Edna sketches to find an artistic side toherself. She needs an outlet to express who she is. Ednasees art as important and adding meaning to her life. She makes many steps towardsindependence.
She stops holding "Tuesday socials;" she sendsher children to live in the country with their grandparents;she refuses to travel abroad with her husband; she moves outof the Lebrun house on Esplanade Street; and she startsselling her sketches and betting the horses to earn her ownmoney.
She also starts a relationship with another man AlceeArobin. He meant nothing to her emotionally but she used himfor sexual pleasure. Edna evolved above her peers she didnot believe that sexuality and motherhood had to be linked. The last step of her "awakening" is the realization that shecan not fulfill her life in a society that will not allowher to be a person and a mother.
Edna commits suicide in theocean at Grand Isle. Analysis "To a certain extent, The Awakening shows Edna at themercy of a patriarchal husband, a hot climate, a Creolelifestyle, and the circumscribed expectations of aparticular class of Louisiana women.
She married Leonce not because sheloved him but because she could not refuse his admirationand persistence. This marriage thrusts Edna into a foreignculture.
She questions her role as a mother because she isdifferent from the typical Creole "mother-woman. Shenever denies the value of motherhood. But she does deny itssupremacy over larger truths of human existence. She refuses to return toa world in which this idea is pervasive and inescapable-andunavoidably colors even her own thinking.
For Edna, thereis, ideally, a truth greater than that of motherhood. Motherhood, compared with it, becomes yet another illusionthat Edna must dispel. That final truth, that greater truth, can not coexist with the social, the moral, or even thebiological obligations of motherhood.
Tragic, because Edna couldnot become the person she wanted to be because of therestrictions society placed on mothers; victorious, becauseEdna did not conform to a patriarchal society. Women CharactersIn The Awakening two women characters are presented insharp contrast to each other.
These women introduce Edna tonew ideas and influence Edna's perception of womanhood. First we are introduced to Madame Ratignolle, the perfect"mother-woman". Adele is perfectly content and happyconforming to society.
Adele keeps up her piano playing notfor her own artistic outlet but for her children. She livesfor her husband and her children and encourages Edna to dothe same. Adele introduces Edna to female love.Kate Chopin The Awakening To what extent does Edna Pontellier, in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, mark a departure from the female characters of earlier nineteenth-century American novels The Awakening was published in , and it immediately created a controversy.
by her own life as shown in the characters and the settings of her various works. Kate Chopin uses many of her own experiences to shape her fiction and her views of female independence.
Kate Chopin’s "The Awakening" was a bold piece of fiction in its time, and protagonist Edna Pontellier was a controversial character. She upset many nineteenth century expectations for women and their supposed roles. One of her most.
However, decades after her death, literary critics rediscovered her work and began to celebrate her stories for their strong perspectives on female independence and sexuality.
Study Guides on Works . Kate Chopin (–) is an American writer best known for her stories about the inner lives of sensitive, daring women. Her novel The Awakening and her short stories are read today in countries around the world, and she is widely recognized as one of America’s essential authors.
Aaliyah Underwood Kate Chopins. Paper Kate Chopin “Love wrote about unconventional characters, particularly women, that caused others to question her morality. Similar to the female characters in her stories, Kate Chopin These are the themes that are represented and worked with throughout Kate Chopin’s works.