There is some controversy about her birthdate. It has been recorded as February 8, but the author has stated she was born in
When they fall in love, Robert senses the doomed nature of such a relationship and flees to Mexico under the guise of pursuing a nameless business venture. When summer vacation ends, the Pontelliers return to New Orleans.
Edna gradually reassesses her priorities and takes a more active role in her own happiness. She starts to isolate herself from New Orleans society and to withdraw from some of the duties traditionally associated with motherhood.
Being left home alone for an extended period gives Edna physical and emotional room to breathe and reflect on various aspects of her life.
Edna is shown as a sexual being for the first time in the novel, but the affair proves awkward and emotionally fraught.
Edna also reaches out to Mademoiselle Reisz, a gifted pianist whose playing is renowned but who maintains a generally hermetic existence. Her playing had moved Edna profoundly earlier in the novel, representing what Edna was starting to long for: Reisz is in contact with Robert while he is in Mexico, receiving letters from him regularly.
Edna begs Reisz to reveal their contents, which she does, proving to Edna that Robert is thinking about her. Eventually, Robert returns to New Orleans. At first aloof and finding excuses not to be near Ednahe eventually confesses his passionate love for her. He admits that the business trip to Mexico was an excuse to escape a relationship that would never work.
When Edna returns home, she finds a note from Robert stating that he has left forever, as he loves her too much to shame her by engaging in a relationship with a married woman. Edna escapes in an ultimate manner by committing suicide, drowning herself in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
She rebels against conventional expectations and discovers an identity independent from her role as a wife and mother. Despite viewing Reisz as disagreeable, Edna sees her as an inspiration to her own "awakening. Also evident in The Awakening is the future of the Southern novel as a distinct genre, not only in setting and subject matter but in narrative style.
Chopin portrays her experiences of the Creole lifestyle, in which women were under strict rules and limited to the role of wife and mother, which influenced her "local color" fiction and focus on the Creole culture.
By using characters of French descent she was able to get away with publishing these stories, because the characters were viewed as "foreign", without her readers being as shocked as they were when Edna Pontellier, a white Protestant, strays from the expectations of society.
Her upbringing also shaped her views, as she lived with her widowed mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, all of whom were intellectual, independent women.
Emily Toth argues against the view that Chopin was ostracized from St. Louis after the publication of The Awakening, stating that many St. Louis women praised her; male critics condemned her novel.
Symbolism[ edit ] In the novel, there are several occasions in which Kate Chopin uses symbolism. Symbolism, a literary device, is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.
Birds — In the beginning of the book, a parrot is in a cage shouting to Mr. It also represents how Edna is caged in her society, without much freedom to live as she pleases.
As Edna is walking towards the ocean in the end of the novel we see a bird with a broken wing. Many have a different interpretation of this injured bird. Some would say that the bird is a representation of Edna finally breaking away from the idea of Victorian womanhood, this is because throughout the entire novel we see caged birds and now we are finally seeing a bird that is free despite its injury.
Ocean — The ocean can be interpreted to represent many different things. While the Pontellier family are vacationing at the resort Edna teaches herself how to swim.
The ending of the book all depends on how the reader perceives it to be. Many questions whether or not Edna dies in the end of the novel. If Edna is thought to be dead, then it is an ironic death because the sea is where she discovered herself. Those that believe Edna purposely kills herself justify her death as saying the ocean is what Edna believed what would free her from the chains that were placed on her by society.
Piano — Throughout the novel many characters play musical instruments, specifically the piano. It is as if she has a better understanding of herself and her feelings after hearing the woman play the piano. Edna also feels that same emotion when Mademoiselle Reisz plays the piano.
It is as if the music that comes from this instrument represents how these women inspire Edna to become a stronger and more independent woman.
Themes[ edit ] This section possibly contains original research.In the book, The Awakening, author Kate Chopin presents Edna’s long journey to attain her final awakening.
Edna is used to living with the restrictions caused by social expectations that. Kate Chopin's The Storm is a risque short story set in late 19th-century. Read on for a summary of the story, its themes, and cultural significance.
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Kate Chopin, born Katherine O'Flaherty (February 8, — August 22, ), was an American author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of the feminist authors of the 20th century.
The Awakening explores one woman's desire to find and live fully within her true self. Her devotion to that purpose causes friction with her friends and family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of her time. The awakening essay NM Book summary and criticism on kate chopin's the awakening kate chopin Contemporaries of the awakening was published in the modern reader to write the awakening; chapter 1; essay questions of the awakening.