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THE AWAKENING - Book Report/Review Example

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The Awakening Kate Chopin first published the novel The Awakening in 1899. The novel is set at the coast of Southern Louisiana in New Orleans and revolves around a woman, Edna Pontellier, who does not want to bear the responsibility of a wife and mother as the society dictated in the 19th century (Chopin 3–8)…
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Download file to see previous pages I will also describe the main character and discuss her decisions, motivations, and final fate. In addition, I will describe why the main character was unable to "fit" into the very traditional culture of New Orleans. Ultimately, I will write a brief discussion on how the novel was received at the time it was written. The novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin reflects upon and challenges the limiting cultural stereotypes of women's personalities in the 19th century. The novel refers to the position of woman in the world and the realization of her relations as an individual within the world. Edna Pontellier is an aristocrat from late nineteenth-century New Orleans, who seeks to defy the cultural responsibilities of a wife and mother (Chopin 3–8). Edna goes to a vacation at the coast of Southern Louisiana with her husband and children. She gets an awakening during the vacation and chooses a new way of life where she even falls in love with another person, Robert Lebrun (Chopin 12–20). Notably, a cultural woman in the 19th century was supposed to take the responsibility of a wife and mother. ...
Culturally, a woman would sacrifice her everything including her life, money, material things, livelihood, and happiness. However, Edna says she would sacrifice all but not her livelihood and happiness. Additionally, the novel justifies female marital infidelity that is against the cultural behaviors. The novel portrays Edna in a troubled marriage but who seeks passionate love outside her marriage. Culturally, men define women, or otherwise women live in isolation. The novel portrays Edna fighting against these societal and natural structures of motherhood where she seeks to be her own, self-defined individual. However, Edna challenges her cultural stereotypes of women's personality by portraying the lack of sexuality in that life, thus leading to a lonely artistic lifestyle. Additionally, the novel shows Edna seeking to create a new lifestyle where she begins to act like a man. She admires the male lifestyle in that men’s lives have sexual fulfillment and no responsibilities of motherhood and parentage. However, the novel challenges this by using Edna’s nature to limit her satisfaction with the masculine lifestyle (Chopin 112–118). Moreover, the novel shows how nature reminds Edna of her motherhood responsibilities by portraying the craving for her children’s presence. Indeed, the craving is so strong that she had to travel to Iberville to see them. This restores Edna’s awareness of her motherhood responsibilities against the cultural stereotypes of women's personalities. However, on returning to New Orleans, she could not fit in her cultural social role. As a result, she develops a rebellion against her husband and ignores her friends (Chopin 167–174). She, however, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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