The Awakening

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The Louisiana setting and the Creole culture of The Awakening play important roles in Edna’s transformation. Throughout The Awakening, we see how Edna starts to realize she wants a different life. We see how she transforms from a conservative woman and a woman devoted to her husband to a woman who wants to be alone, independent, and doesn’t want the bonds of marriage to restrict her life. Edna had modern day thoughts and wanted a modern day lifestyle all those years ago in the 19th century.

The Creole culture was made up of catholic people living in a protestant region. The women of this culture were very reserved and were more of property to their husbands than a person and a companion. Women back in this time period were more of arm candy for the men and were only around to take care of the children and clean the house even though many houses had slaves to do this work. The character of Adele is a great example of these women. Louisiana is much like the Creole culture in the sense that during this time, it was the only state that operated under a different legal system than the rest of the country. Under the Louisiana Code, a woman belonged to her husband. Under article 1388 of this code, the male had total control over their family. Under article 1124 of this same code, “…married women with babies and the mentally ill, all three are deemed incompetent to make a contract.” Kate Chopin (author of The Awakening) believed that women should have equal rights as men and she also believed that women were more intelligent than men would ever be. Chopin’s stories were composed of fiction with truth woven in to the lives of her characters. Chopin was raised in a French household in America and therefore, a lot of her characters are of French descent as well. Her stories were often related to subjects she found interesting like the fine arts and women’s rights. Chopin’s stories mostly consisted of women in the 1800’s toying with the prospects of divorce. Edna...
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