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Summary on The Awakening by Kate Chopin - Essay Example

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Kate Chopin, a prominent author of the 19th century, mostly wrote novels and short stories that centered around female protagonists and their suppressed lives. Through her stories, Chopin provided these characters with an opportunity to rebel against the traditional norms and…
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Summary on The Awakening by Kate Chopin
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"Summary on The Awakening by Kate Chopin"

Download file to see previous pages The Awakening tells the saga of Edna Pontellier, a married woman and mother of two, who lives in the 18th century Victorian era. During that time, the world in itself was patriarchal and suppressed the species of women altogether, thus not providing women with the chance to neither express themselves, nor even think about their needs and wants. Edna faced similar situation in her life, as she had to conform to the society’s envisioned role for her, and take care of her family rather than acknowledging her needs and desires. However, throughout the book, Edna’s character undergoes significant change and she develops into something more than a mere puppet of the society. Edna’s awakening is depicted at various instances through the story, for example, when she tells Robert that she is “no longer one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions” (113) and when she is at sea and she feels like a “new-born creature” (120). Though Edna stops conforming to the general role of women cast by the society, and although she engages in a lot of rebellion, in the end she commits suicide, and it is left for the reader to think of this act as either representative of cowardice or her last rebellion. Through the awakening that Edna undergoes she tries to reverse the duality of life- “outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions,” which she has known since her childhood (18). That is, she not only physically rebels against the conformations of the society, but also she brings to surface all the questions she has stifled throughout her life.
Edna’s character transforms when she finds herself vacationing with her family in Grand Isle, where she meets different people, each of whom have something new to teach her. Thus, in the process she learns three new languages, namely, verbal, artistic and sexual languages. She learns about the verbal language, that is, expressing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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