Kate Chopin, the Awakening

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The Awakening by Kate Chopin 1st half: Page 1-60

Plot Summary:
Leonce Pontellier and Edna Pontellier take their children to Grand Isle to spend their summer vacation. While on that trip Edna learns how to swim which becomes a huge revelation to her, in a sense of gaining some control over her life. Also Edna makes a great connection with Robert Lebrun, a charming man who pursues to obtain Edna's attention and affections. As he flees to Mexico, the narrative of the story shifts to Edna’s complexed feelings towards Robert and her search for social freedom. With the summer being over and Edna going back to New Orleans with her husband, Edna gradually re-evaluate her priorities and takes a more active role in her own happiness, as she starts to withdraw from some of the duties traditionally associated with motherhood and as a house-wife. Themes:

* Self-destruction: The illusion of being able to control oneself, while being controlled by society and other circumstances around you will eventually lead to self-destruction.(Edna the protagonist is in search for social liberation, and fundamentally ends up self-destructing herself by taking an action she believes can only be controlled by herself.) * Femininity: The restrictions and expectations put on a woman are purely on stereotypical and repressive images about a societally accepted idea of femininity. (In the era that Edna lived in, the gender roles were set in stone, men would work and women would be set to be home and take care of the kids and house, women like Edna were seen as possessions and trophies.) * Identity: Dissatisfaction with the labels put on individuals can result in the loss of identity and the desire for independence outside of society. ( The discontent with the labels Edna has as ‘wife”, “mother” has resulted in the loss of her true identity, however the desire to gain back her identity leads her to social...
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