Of Alcee's Criticism In 'The Awakening' By Kate Chopin

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In our English class, we recently finished the romantic novella, The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Kate Chopin was an early feminist writer during the 19th century. Her short stories were often frowned upon or condemned because of their sensual and societal challenging content. Often, Chopin wrote of distressed and oppressed women during the 1800s. Many of her short stories took place in New Orleans, Louisiana because she lived there for parts of her life. Throughout her most notable novella, The Awakening, Chopin tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman who is conflicted about her life; she battles what she truly wants versus what society has already planned out for her. Edna wants true love and so throughout this story, we see her become involved …show more content…
Alcee is seductive and irresistible to Edna. He is known for having affairs with married women. Edna meets Alcee when Leonce is away on business again. Alcee met Edna at a horse race that Edna attended with her father, the Colonel, when he was in town. Alcee mainly provided Edna with sexual pleasures and lust. She was able to relieve her sexual frustrations with him while Robert was away. A quote to describe their relationship is on page 77, “She lit a candle and went up to her room. Alcee Arobin was absolutely nothing to her. Yet his presence, his manners, the warmth of his glances, and above all the touch of his lips upon her hand had acted like a narcotic upon her.” This quote describes how Alcee means nothing to Edna but seeing him and his kiss on her hands dulled her senses and made her euphoric. Chopin is using a simile to compare Alcee’s actions to a state of happiness and delight. Alcee’s actions can completely change Edna’s mood from being mad or depressed to peaceful and overjoyed.
A character similar to Alcee Arobin is found in another short story by Kate Chopin called The Storm. The character in this story is named Alcée Laballière. He also is very seductive and has an affair with the main character, Calixta, who is married and has a son. Alcee Laballiere sleeps with Calixta during a horrible storm while her husband is out with their son. When her husband arrives home, Alcee has left and Calixta acts as if nothing had happened with Alcee while he was

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