The Awakening: Public Controversy

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The Awakening: Public Controversy

The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, was a book that was truly ahead of its time. The author of the book was truly a genius in her right, but yet she was seen as a scoundrel. At the time, it was "a world that values only her performance as a mother, whose highest expectations for women are self sacrifice and self-effacement." ( ? ) The people of that era were not ready to admit or accept the simple but hidden feelings of intimacy or sexuality and the true nature of womanhood. Kate Chopin's book portrayed a woman of that time in a quite unorthodox way. In fact, [ When she wrote the book in 1899, she ] "achieved what was to prove her literary masterpiece and her ultimate break with popular taste" ( Cully, Intro. )

That book was written in 1899. During this era women were seen as very proper and sophisticated individuals who were considered caretakers of the home. They wore an excessive amount of clothing and never exposed themselves in public or otherwise. If a woman was caught exposing herself in public, would be shunned and looked down upon. Loyalty and commitment to the family was very important during this time. Regardless of their family problems, they were expected to endure and stay faithful. [ In fact, ] " the nineteenth century's message of the supremacy of motherhood was so strong and so intense that it was absorbed into the systems of it's women - even women like Edna [ ,a character in Chopin's book, ] who were not maternally inclined." ( ? ) You could almost say that women were considered symbols of everything that is pure in the society in which they lived. Anything short of that was considered unacceptable.

Because of the time that Chopin lived in: " The Appearance in print of her most recent work had brought her harsh criticism and condemnation, as well as ostracism from many of those who had always formed a close-knit world of St. Louis society" ( Cully , vii ). Her book was seen as a vile and...