A Review of Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Topics: The Awakening, Novel, Fiction Pages: 3 (771 words) Published: November 24, 2008
Flight of Icarus or the last swim of a mad woman? –

“The Awakening” essay by Michael Caesar Brancewicz

One day, on a lonely island somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a survivor finds a bottle with some blue gas inside. Recalling the well known fairy tale, he starts rubbing it – and the genie appears out of the blue! “Well,” says the celestial creature, “lucky you, mortal one, because for releasing me from this prison I may grant one of your wishes”. The survivor squints, nods for a while and finally asks timidly: “It’s been a while since my ship sank… Could you please build a motorway connecting my lonely island to the mainland and procure an ultrafast car which I can use to travel back home?” The genie furrows his brow, tuts and shakes his head, and goes on complaining about all the mess with drying up the ocean, all the concrete he has to fix, and so on, and so on. The survivor, nonplussed, asks again: “You know, dear genie, throughout my whole life one thing was disturbing me much more than any other: comprehending the woman’s nature. You know, I would really love to know why they have their whimsies, moods, why are they so capricious once in every while…” The genie raises his hand and cuts in: “Mortal one, do you want a two- or four-lane motorway?”

***

It’s incredibly hard to maintain an objective tone when writing about an idea as ridiculous as the point made by Katie Chopin in her novel, “The Awakening”. Although I perceive myself as an open-minded and world-curious person, every tolerance has its limits… There were moments when I had to resist the urge to put the little brown tome away for good, and only being cognizant of consequences of such action to my English grade made me force myself through the yellowish pages. Why did its content disturb me to the point of patting palm against the forehead and shaking my head in distaste?

The main character of the novel, Edna Pontellier leads a comfortable life.  A sweet,...
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