Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Awakening


Category: Feminism

Author: Kate Chopin

Summary: The Awakening begins at a crisis point in twenty-eight year-old Edna Pontellier's life. Edna is a passionate and artistic woman who finds few acceptable outlets for her desires in her role as wife and mother of two sons living in conventional Creole society. Unlike the married women around her, Edna finds herself wanting her own emotional and sexual identity. During one summer while her husband is out of town, her frustrations find an outlet in an affair with a younger man. Energized and filled with a desire to define her own life, she sends her children to the country and removes herself to a small house of her own. Her triumph is short-lived, however, destroyed by a society that has no place for a self-determined, unattached woman. Her story is a tragedy and one of many clarion calls in its day to examine the institution of marriage and woman's opportunities in an oppressive world.

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