The Struggle Between Society And Independence In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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The Awakening: A Struggle Between Society and Independence The Awakening begins with an average Creole society in which each gender plays their significant role in life. The women are loyal to their families and husbands. The men are involved in business and run the household. This was the “typical” society of 1898. In this story, a confident woman named Edna steps out of the boundaries to begin a moral revolution. She expresses the desire of wanting “liberation, but also love and appreciation” (Chopin 71). This desire relates to Kate Chopin’s personal beliefs of gender equality, partaking in the feminist movement of the late 1800’s. Like Edna, Kate Chopin faced the plight of a woman’s role in society. Women could not live a free lifestyle …show more content…
It also represented a push for the women’s movement in the 1890’s. Edna’s conflict between motherhood and self-dependency was a real representation of a common problem faced by women. Edna’s feelings, when she got a taste of freedom, were meant to show how women can embrace an “awakening” and “free the soul of responsibilities” (Chopin 32). Once Edna freed herself from the typical chain, she could truly embrace who she was. She became the “one who rules, who looks on, who stands alone” (Chopin 89). There was no man dictating her life anymore. She chose what path her life would follow. Kate Chopin decided to give Edna free will that was unrealistic in her time. Most people were shocked at this; others were inspired by it. This contributed to the advancement of women’s rights. However, it also brought controversy about. Critics “denounced Chopin for allowing Edna Pontellier the freedom to refuse conformity” (56; vol. 3). This didn’t stop Chopin from fighting for her beliefs though. She accepted the crucial comments from those who condemned The Awakening from libraries and continued to write stories on feminism. Kate Chopin provided an impetus for the women’s movement, despite the neglect she received from the public. Kate Chopin’s book, The Awakening, emphasized the struggle of women to find a balance between society and independence. Women could not express “the feeling of freedom and independence” (Chopin 80). They were confined to the rules of society. Although Kate and her book were put down by society in the 1890’s, her feminist views played a vital role in the women’s movement of the late 1800’s. Her cause of expressing the limited freedom of women was later resolved as the support for women’s movements

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