Kate Chopin's "The Awakening"

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Kate Chopin's "The Awakening"

By | June 2011
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“The Awakening” is a novel written in 1899 by Kate Chopin (1850-1904). “The Awakening” is a novel of life in the south and opens in the late 1800’s in Grand Isle near New Orleans. “The Awakening” can be viewed by three different perspectives; psychoanalytical, historical, and feminist. The historical perspective focuses on the setting of the story; the year and the major events of that time period. For the historical perspective “The Awakening” is set in the Victorian times of the south when Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901. The British people had a long prosperity during her reign (ukanswers.com). The feministic perspective focuses on gender and the beliefs of society during that time. The psychoanalytical perspective focuses on the characters and how they actually feel and their dreams, hope, and desires. There is a strong feministic perspective of identity in the story “The Awakening.” One main character, Edna Pontellier, is dealing with her own identity of a woman, wife, and mother. Edna was a young woman in Victorian times who is lacking the ability to fulfill the domestic duties of a wife and mother because of the loss of her own identity. She was a woman surrounded by a society in which she does not fit in; a society of Creoles. Although Edna was married to a Creole she was never at home at Grand Isle as she was never so immersed with them before. (Chopin, 1899, chap 4, para 11, lines 1-2). Edna was a young wife with little concern for her husband and her marriage. Edna did not conform to the envisioned role of a wife. “He thought it very discouraging that his wife, who was the sole object of his existence, evinced so little interest in things which concerned him, and valued so little his conversation.” (Chopin, 1899, chap 2, para 3). Edna did not marry her husband out of love; at least not for love on her side. Edna did not have the typical marriage of a woman in her era, especially at Grand Isles. ”Her marriage to Leonce...
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