Characterism And Criticism In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

1301 Words 6 Pages
Megan Mahon
American Literature
25 October 2016
The Awakening
In the 1930’s it was very hard to find women willing to stand up for what they believed in and be themselves because at the time the world was run by men. For example, Rosa Parks, a young African American woman stood up for equality knowing that the consequences of her actions would be bad. This shows that it was very rare for women to break their stereotypes, but when they did it had a huge impact on the way that person was viewed. Rosa Parks stood up for what she believed in, even though society told her not to, much like the protagonist in The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Kate Chopin’s, “The Awakening” focuses on Edna Pontellier as the main protagonist in the story.
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Therefore, in the novel, she emerges from this lifestyle and adopts a new approach of total awareness with what happens around her. Through the procession of the story, Edna’s character exhibits the models of feminism perspective to life and marriage. She grows to become an independent woman who becomes responsible for her own passions and urges. Nevertheless, her awakening isolates her from society, which leads to her isolated living. Therefore, her ‘awakening’ is an indicator of Kate Chopin’s feminism in the novel, as it is characterized by her urges and passions.
Edna’s ‘awakening’ is characterized by her decision to pick individuality over conformity. In the story, Edna is introduced as a married woman and a mother. Her personality and married life is proof of her conformity status in the marriage. Besides, she lives in a partially aware state because she feels comfortable in her marriage. According to the novel, “At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life—that
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In the novel, Edna’s ‘awakening’ prompts her to rekindle her awareness to the world. She reenergizes her sexuality by meeting her needs and ambitions. As a result, the novel implies that Edna starts to have fantasies about wild romance and sex without caring about her family. Chopin argues that “For the first time, she recognized the symptoms of infatuation which she had felt incipiently as a child, as a girl in her early teens, and later as a young woman.” (Chopin 15.59) This asserts that she starts having infatuations and fantasies about romance when she leaves Mr. Pontellier. Therefore, she often leaves her children with their grandmother and disregards other people’s feelings and sexuality. In the novel, Mr. Pontellier “reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children” suggesting that she often abandoned her family in pursuit of her ambitions (Chopin 3.7). It is important to notice that Edna is selfish and consumed by her wild sexual desires. Accordingly, Edna’s choices are vital to her lifestyle and she later commits suicide out of submission to her wild sexual desires and activities. The novel seems to applaud her for her rebellion against her husband and her decision to end her marriage. Therefore, her activities and decision to pursue her sexuality instead of repression can be analyzed as the novel’s feminist approaches to married women. The novel contends that

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