The Awakening Critical Analysis

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Kate Chopin, in her short story The Awakening, vividly describes the timeline of Edna from her immediate arrival in New Orleans, to the beginnings of her culture shock and awakening, to her tragic suicide. Upon her arrival to Grand Isle Resort in New Orleans she meets Robert and Madame Ratignolle, both of whom take her breath away, or as the book puts it “left her stunned in amazement”.
Compared to her life growing up in the slower small towns of Kentucky, the upbeat large city of New Orleans was a culture shock. If one needs a comparison think of how it would feel to visit New York City after living in North Carolina for a few years. It would be a shock just as Edna’s visit to Grand Isle Resort was a shock. The most shocking part to her was when she saw the new culture as expressive in their thoughts, opinions, and feelings, something not allowed before in that time and area. However, when she arrived to where this type of expressiveness, including her artwork for example, was not a norm for women, she was immediately alienated and metaphorically spit on by the people of that society.
Madame Reisz and Edna were discussing one day about their
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In the song he would rather participate in what brings him pleasure, his lover, or die, rather than conform to the church’s culture. Similar to the song, Edna would rather spend her life with Robert, or also die, than to conform to how her culture wanted her to behave. If a song like Hozier’s, similar to The Awakening, can be written in today’s time period, it can clearly be seen that the overall issue of girls marrying at such a young age instead of being allowed to mature can cause issues, such as those which arose in the story. Bluntly put, the issue in the story of Edna marrying to young into an unknown culture rather than being allowed to find her own place in society, continues to be massively alive in society

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