Kate Chopin 's The Awakening Essay

1249 Words Feb 9th, 2016 null Page
In the majority of Kate Chopin’s works, femininity was transformed as to defy the common perception of its time. Instead of solely writing her women as one-dimensional and conventional wives, mothers, and homemakers, Chopin gives her women new identities. These identities transcend the stereotypical “feminine” roles typically assigned, as her women also appear to have what was considered “masculine” attributes as well. Her seemingly androgynous characters not only reinvent ways of interpreting gender identity, but sexual identity as well.
Many scholars have used queer theory to analyze the interactions between Chopin’s women. By using queer theory, a reader can provide themselves a deeper insight in regards to the text as, according to Axel Nissen, “sexuality is inseparable from narrative, and the narrative of sexuality also imbues fictional narrative, including stories that appear not to be about sexuality at all,” (182). This process can be seen in Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, through the characters of Edna Pontellier, Mademoiselle Reisz, and Adèle Ratignolle. Both the characterization of these three women and their interactions between each other can be interpreted as heavily alluded references to homosexuality.
Many scholars debate the validity of whether Edna could be considered a queer character. At first glance, it would appear as if this would not be so. The novel describes her struggles with her marriage, leaving her husband, and having a passionate and tragic…

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