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When first published in 1899 The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situationAside from its unusually frank treatment of a then controversial subject the novel is widely admired today for its literary ualities Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work uite uninhibited and beautifully written which anticipates D H Lawrence in its treatment of infidelity Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception artistry and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening


10 thoughts on “The Awakening

  1. says:

    Why so many ugly one star reviews? All about as insightful as the ubiuitous one star reviews of Lolita which call Nabokov the man a child molester raving morons who can't distinguish a character from an author and go beyond simply missing the point And how ironic that all these reviews seem to be from women raging that this book which they all obviously read for their 'gender theory' class features a character who abandons her children Ugh women who criticize this as a feminist novel because the main character isn't a good mom and then base their ratings solely on how much they like the main character Do these people only give high ratings to books with characters they like? Do they think women characters in fictional books shouldn't have flaws ennui and basically everything that makes a character good? They want the character to be human but lack any flaws they want her to be a feminist hero but denounce her for not putting her children before herself Is it that they would have accepted it in a male character but not from a 'wife and mother' because when I read these reviews that is what it looks like to me Why is she in all those one star reviews held up and judged as a woman and not a human being? Is that not the essence of feminism? If so these dumb broads are the ones who are anti woman not Chopin who wrote this in 1899 for fuck sake The whole point of the book is about her discovering herself as an individual and that even as an individual we exist in a society and as humans have to balance being an individual with the fact we are social animals Her failure isn't that she abandoned the children but that she abandons herself If this has a failure as a feminist novel it is the formulaic ending where she is punished for her desires I'd like to see a story when the woman runs away and is not punished by death as is the always the ending now that would be progress Not that it's a great book my few friends who rated it gave in mostly 3 stars and that's about right I'm adding an extra star out of spite Also this is my first book read on my new kindle so that was pretty exciting


  2. says:

    Often I have witnessed women who proceed to talk about misogyny sexism or state their views on a piece of feminist literature starting their discourse with something along the lines of 'I'm not much of a feministbut' As if it is best to put a considerable distance between themselves and this feared word at the onset and deny any possible links whatsoever As if calling herself a feminist automatically degrades a woman to the position of a venom spewing uncouth unfeminine violent creature from hell whose predilections include despising all males on the planet with a passion and shouting from the rooftops about women's rights at the first opportunity Attention ladies and gentlemen Feminism is not so cool any at least not in the way it was in the 80s or 90sDon't ask what set off that particular rant but yes I suppose the numerous 1 star reviews of this one could have been a likely trigger So Edna's story gets a 1 star because she is a 'selfish bitch' who falls in love with another man who is not her husband doesn't sacrifice her life for her children and feels the stirrings of sexual attraction for someone she doesn't love in a romantic way Edna gets a 1 star because she dares to put herself as an individual first before her gender specific roles as wife and mother But so many other New Adult and erotica novels IF one can be generous enough to call them 'novels' for lack of a suitable alternative term virtually brimming with sexism misogyny and chock full of all the obnoxious stereotypes that reinforce society's stunted retrogressive view of the relationship dynamics between a man and woman get 5 glorious stars from innumerable reviewers majority of whom are women on this siteThis makes me lose my faith in humanity and women in particular Edna Pontellier acknowledges her awakening and her urge to break away from compulsions imposed on her by society She embraces her 'deviance' and tries to come to terms with this new knowledge of her own self She desires to go through the entire gamut of human actions and emotions regardless of how 'morally' ambiguous unjustified or self centered each one of them maybe And isn't THAT the whole point of this feminism business? Feminism is the radical notion that women are people Rebecca West A woman needs to be recognized and accepted as a human being first imperfect flawed egocentric and possibly even as a bad mother and an irresponsible wife just like the way society accepts a bad husband as a bad husband a bad father as a bad father and moves on after uttering a few words of negative criticism Somehow being a bad father is reasonably acceptable but being a bad mother constitutes a sacrilegious actEdna's husband is eually responsible for abandoning their children as she is He limits his role as a father to performing minor tasks like buying them bonbons peanuts and gifts and lecturing his wife on how they should be raised without bothering to shoulder some of her burden As if the task of raising children reuires the sole expertise of the mother and the father can nonchalantly evade all responsibility while maintaining a lingering presence in their livesI have seen readers being empathetic to unfaithful fictional husbands and their existential dilemmas case in point being Tomas and Franz in 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' which I am currently reading and even trying to rationalize their incapability of staying in monogamous relationships But oh heaven forbid if it's a woman in the place of a man Women are denied entrance into the world of infidelity or casual sex and in the rare case that they are allowed they are given labels like 'slut' 'whore' 'tart' and so on They need to be absolute models of perfection without fail angelic compassionate thoughtful always subservient forever ready to be at your service as a good mother and a good wife and languish in a perpetual state of self denial with that forced sweet smile stuck on their faces Double standards much? Edna is a little flawed and hence very humane Edna is in all of us And her cold refusal to let societal norms decide the course of her life reduce her to the state of mere mother and wife only makes her brave in my eyes view spoilerHer suicide is but a loud 'fuck you' to the patriarchal system And I can only salute her for her act of defiance hide spoiler


  3. says:

    SPOILERS in the commentsOne of the earliest sleep with whoever you want feminist rhetoric books I think much of what feminists fought for and accomplished was vital for protecting women Women have never lived with such freedom I stand behind many of the advances This book however as part of the general 60’s feminist philosophynot the major thinking of the early feminists I believe has had a destructive effect Instead of promoting a philosophy that men should be honest about the power of physical relationships which would have helped to correct many of the true problems and thus would have been truly progressive they encourged women to be just as selfish This type of thought has pulled us backwards Their courage faltered when they didn’t set the standard that was really needed The havoc wreaked on the souls of human beings both those involved in sexuality that professes one thing physically but another spiritually – selfish sexuality and the children who live in the chaos of these relationships or non relationships is a step back in the progression of the individual who should be moving towards actual love and away from selfishness


  4. says:

    In a hearing I observed once the husband testified that he had tried to have his wife served with his petition for divorce in the Costco parking lot The wife went running across the parking lot to avoid service and her eight and ten year old kids ran after her dodging traffic and jumping into the wife’s car as it screeched out of the parking spot The husband filmed them on his iPhone shouting “You’ve been served You’ve been served” The judge commented that it was troubling to watch a video of the kids running through a dangerous parking lot and asked the woman why she ran The woman replied “I don’t believe in divorce your honor”The judge said “Well ma’am it’s not like the Easter Bunny it exists”There is that point in a woman’s life when she wakes up suspecting that the fairy tales she grew up with were not telling the whole story that there is life beyond the sunset at the end of the movie and that life is not easier than life before the sunset And there are any number of stories in which that anvil falls on a character’s head Tolstoy writes the cautionary morality tale version in Anna Karenina Flaubert writes the pastoral tragedy version in Madame Bovary and Elizabeth Gilbert writes the self involved douche version in Eat Pray Love to name a few But then The Awakening This one is my favorite This is the beautiful oneFor example there is this Do you know Mademoiselle Reisz? she asked irrelevantlyThe pianist? I know her by sight I've heard her playShe says ueer things sometimes in a bantering way that you don't notice at the time and you find yourself thinking about afterwardFor instance?Well for instance when I left her to day she put her arms around me and felt my shoulder blades to see if my wings were strong she said `The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised exhausted fluttering back to earth'”All the women in this book are birds clucking hens sheltering their brood; decorative birds in cages; and Edna growing wings and trying to fly away I love the image of women as birds because I think it is so vivid in showing a woman’s disconnect with society Just the image of a bird in a cage is something out of place confined where it should be free It is unwelcome and unnatural out of the cage but unable to leave The movie Moulin Rouge uses the image too Where Ewan McGreggor’s character is the traditional Orpheus whose gift is his song Nicole Kidman’s is the woman as a bird “Oh we will” she says to her own pet bird “We will fly fly away from here” I don’t know where this metaphor originated sirens? or how it became what it is in these stories but I think it is poignant view spoilerAnd it is poignant that clearly the only end for a bird escaped from the cage is death A woman defying tradition and prejudice as Mademoiselle Riesz says is unwelcome and must have particularly strong wings to fly away But all of these stories that imagine something beyond tradition have Thelma and Louise endings Women who wake up and realize that they are unwelcome in society as they are who realize they can’t pretend to be what society wants any can only conceive of suicide as the alternative And in The Awakening at least Edna’s death is not cautionary or punishment It is just the only conceivable alternative in a society that offers nothing for women but marriage Interestingly Eat Pray Love is the only story I can think of on this topic that doesn’t end in the woman’s death so that is perversely hopeful hide spoiler


  5. says:

    This review is being posted mainly because of the awesome backstory I actually had to read this twice in high school and didn't care for it much either timeBut here comes my great storyWhen I was a sopho in high school I went out with this girl who eventually dumped me and gave the reason that she was only going out with me until the guy she really liked showed interest in her A real downerFast forward to senior year I was in theater and I just so happened to do shows at the all girls school where the aforementioned girl went After a performance I was Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie she came up to me and said that she needed to talk to me and that she was interested in me attending prom with her?? WHAT?? I hadn't talked to her in a couple of years my mind was blownI said yes but I was skeptical While at prom she sat me down for the talk She said that she felt terrible for what she did to me She said that while reading The Awakening she started to realize that I was really good to her and being the place holder for this other guy was not fair to me VINDICATED She wrote an essay about what she had done to me and how the book had opened her eyes an awakening perhaps??? This essay ended up winning some sort of state wide competition Feeling pretty great by this pointEpilogueShe came up to me at the end of the prom and asked me if she could leave with another guy who she has been kind of interested in for awhile you can't make this stuff up So I got my vindication but history repeated itself at least I wasn't officially dating her this time


  6. says:

    I'd like to give this book ZERO stars but it's not an option This is hands down the worst book that I've ever read I will never say that again in a review because this one wins that prizeBIG SPOILER AHEAD Be warnedI had to read this thing twice in college and it is a horrible story We are supposed to feel sympathy for a selfish woman with no redeemable ualities Just because her marriage is bad it does not give her the right to be a lousy despicable person Get a divorce? Yes Find new love? Yes Abandon your children be completely self absorbed commit adultery and drown yourself? No no no and no This is my problem with the book Drowning oneself and leaving one's children without the guidance of their mother is a tragedy The book would have you believe it is a triumph This is the irredeemable flaw in the bookIt is also physically impossible to die the way she did You cannot float to the bottom of the ocean Your body will force you to swim and fight It is a scientific fact that you cannot drown yourself without a struggle She would have struggled in the end Yes you can swim out so far that you can't make it back in and would drown in the process But no you can't just sink to the bottom It would be a horrible gagging gasping throwing up salt water kicking your arms and legs fightThe writing itself is nothing special It's not bad Chopin is not a bad writer on a technical level but she is no expert eitherI hate to be the one raining on the parade but this is the most overrated book I have ever come across


  7. says:

    Book Review 4 of 5 stars to The Awakening by Kate Chopin I read this book several years ago and wrote a paper on how society treated women during that period in literature I cut and paste some from it below as I think it offers than a normal review on this one Please keep in mind I'm referring to women in the 19th century ie the characters from the book not thoughts on women today As for the book it's fantastic love seeing what people thought 150 years ago seeing some things never change and some people are just always wrong And for the record I loved Edna thought she had a right to and should have pushed the envelope uestion Edna Pontellier Does Innocence Prevail? Society expects women to remain pure and chaste to ignore the urge to engage in any type of behavior that could be construed as flirtatious and to follow the demands of their fathers until marriage However women see these limitations as too restrictive which is why they live their lives in a way that suits them and not others Women often take control of their own lives by participating in flirtatious behaviors ignoring parental wishes and engaging in pre marital sex When women are married and still wish to live their own lives they may have extra marital affairs they may leave their husbands or lovers and they may commit suicide These behaviors are ways of striking out against the unfair limitations placed on them Often the “desire to be socially functional and acceptable can lead to hostility to those who appear to be unconventional or independent” Allen 336 As a result of this hostility and striking out whether or not women are truly innocent has pervaded the minds of American societySince the innocence of women has always been a subject that captivates society’s mind writers will often take advantage of this and create works that are about women’s innocence The realistic period of literature from the end of the Civil War to World War I 1865 1915 contains many works that are representative of women and their level of innocence In works such as Kate Chopin’s The Awakening 1899 there are female characters whose innocence comes into uestion Edna Pontellier lives her life in such an ambiguously flirtatious way that the people from the society in which they live all uestion the women’s innocence and morality Edna is somewhat guilty although she has an excuse Edna is just entering her womanhood for the first time at a time when views were uite different than today She may lose her innocence with several men but she never knew what innocence was prior to her sexual awakening Regardless of Edna’s actions she is still innocent even though her flirtatious behavior implies that she isn’t After she faces society’s wrath she turns inwardly to find support instead of turning to the people around her After thinking about her future Edna meanders down the path of self destruction and commits suicide as a way to get out of the misery that she is in When her innocence appears to be lost she chooses to take her own life rather than fight to show society that she has done nothing wrong However she never really loses her innocence permanently as it was only hidden under her awakening to womanhoodIn The Awakening by Kate Chopin Edna Pontellier a young married woman is also removed from her usual American home to that of the French Creole society in New Orleans Louisiana Even though the story still takes place in America the French Creole society is European than American It expects the people that live there to follow European beliefs about women innocence and sexuality Edna has been married to Leonce Pontellier for several years and they have two sons also They spend their summer vacations on an island off the coast of Louisiana during the summers not that far from the mainland where they usually live Edna grew up with a father who expected her to follow his rules as perfectly as possible He was a “hypocritical gambling toddy drinking pious talking Presbyterian from Kentucky” Skaggs 98 His interpretation of religion was to be irreconcilable during the week and then atone for it on Sundays at worship Edna thus became two separate souls within her own body She wanted to be pious and good which explains why she remained married to Leonce in a loveless marriage for nearly ten years However she also had a passionate wild side to her which suddenly erupted after she met Robert Lebrun on the Grand Isle According to James H Justus the imbalance which haunts Edna is within the self and the dilemma is resolved in terms of her psychic compulsions Caught between conflicting urgencies her need to succumb to her sensuality is countered by an eual need for a freedom that is almost anarchic” Justus 73Edna Pontellier is bored with her husband her life of motherhood and housekeeping upon her return to the mainland She also wants to be free to do whatever she chooses instead of being chained to her husband She enjoys the attention that she gets from Robert and finds the young man uite attractive Once started “Edna makes no attempt to suppress her sexual desire she does not hesitate to throw off her traditional duties towards her family She realizes she is unable to live as the inessential adjunct to man as the object over which man rules” Seyersted 62 As a result “Edna Pontellier has her first affair out of sexual hunger without romantic furbelow She is in love but the young man she loves has left New Orleans” Kauffmann 59 Edna Pontellier is an adulterer but one can forgive her because she was thrown into a marriage that she was not ready for after living by her father’s rule for so many years Edna never had a chance to grow up as a woman As a result she is forced to suppress her sexuality and it comes out full force during her summer vacation with the LebrunsNevertheless Edna and Robert’s affair has a positive influence on Edna’s life Carley Rees Bogarad believes that “Edna’s desire for the first time in her life is directed at someone who returns it and who has been fulfilling her emotional needs She finally has evidence from the way Robert has been treating her and from her own emerging sense of self that she might choose to live in a meaningful constructive and active way She does not lose her sense of responsibility; she redefines it” 160 However Edna loses Robert when he leaves the country and she is forced to return home with her husband and two children where her life becomes monotonous and dull without Robert Later She meets Alcee Arobin who reminds her of Robert in some ways Edna and Arobin also begin an affair with each other This time “Edna enjoys the company because Arobin is a charming man attentive amusing a person of the world He is a sexual partner who does not ask for expect or give love Conseuently Edna need not feel that she is compromising him because she loves another What she slowly discovers is that there is no way to separate what the body does from what the mind or heart is feeling without creating a violation of self Bogarad 160 Edna definitely seems as though she has no morals by this time She couldn’t care any less about her family; all Edna wants to do is explore her new found sexual awakening She is viewed negatively for this among society; Yet in reality “the men in her life split her Robert sees her as the angel and Alcee sees her as the whore” Bogarad 160Edna Pontellier is a victim of fate and cannot be faulted for that She can’t help but be awakened sexually which leads to her numerous affairs with Robert and Alcee After moving out of the house and living on her own in the way that she wants to Edna slowly dwindles down to nothing She loses her husband Robert and Alcee Robert briefly returns and it seems as though he and Edna will reunite but they don’t Instead Edna’s awakened feelings and lifeline diminish her Spangler remarks that “in the final pages Edna is different she is no longer purposeful merely willful no longer liberated merely perverse no longer justified merely spiteful” Spangler 155 In the end Edna is left barren and desolate She wanders out to the sea strips off her clothes and jumps in to her death According to Spangler “Chopin surrounds Edna’s death with contradictory symbols of defeat and rebirth This makes it difficult to assess the meaning of Edna’s final act and accounts for the various readings proposed There is also the further complication that it is not clear whether Edna’s death is consciously chosen suicide or whether it like much else in Edna’s life is simply drifted into” 156 Edna’s tragic end leaves readers wondering what her purpose was Edna could represent women who are “‘perversely attracted to forbidden fruit’ and for women that want to possess which forms only destructive relationships rather than those that are true and lasting’ Roscher 292 All that the readers can infer is that “her actions and final suicide suggest that she is a woman whose will and determination force her ‘to go her own way’; but a closer look at Edna shows that she is not a character who rejects a society in ‘thought and act’ ” Portales 431 Edna Pontellier may have had some affairs but she still remains innocent in some ways She never knew what love was when she married Leonce She had been influenced by her father and assumed that she would fall in love with Leonce once they got married Nevertheless Edna tries unsuccessfully so she then determines to just have a good time but she falls for Robert and enters into a relationship with him perhaps the first one when their is reuited love between the two Edna cannot be blamed for losing her innocence therefore since she didn’t have it when she was married She didn’t even know what it was to not have innocence at that time Edna suffered at the hand so fate and her father She rarely had control of her own life About Me For those new to me or my reviews here's the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you'll also find TV Film reviews the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the whowhatwhenwhere and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by Note All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them Many thanks to their original creators


  8. says:

    The Awakening Kate ChopinThe Awakening is a novel by Kate Chopin first published in 1899 Set in New Orleans and on the Louisiana Gulf coast at the end of the 19th century the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle between her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn of the century American South It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension It prefigures the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and echoes the works of contemporaries such as Edith Wharton and Henry James It can also be considered among the first Southern works in a tradition that would culminate with the modern masterpieces of Faulkner Flannery O'Connor Eudora Welty Katherine Anne Porter and Tennessee Williams‎The awakening and other stories ‎Kate Chopin; edited by Nina Baym; introducton by Kaye Gibbons‬ ‎New York‬ ‎The Modern Library‬ ‎2000 1379‬ 375 pتاریخ نخستین خوانش نسخه انگلیسی روز یازدهم ماه آگوست سال 2014 میلادیعنوان بیداری؛ نویسنده کیت شوپن؛ برگردان ماهان سیار‌منش؛ رشت دوات معاصر‏‫، 1397؛ در 210ص؛ شابک 9786009989133؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی سده 19م‬رمان «بیداری» نوشته ی روانشاد بانو «کیت شوپن» است، که نخستین بار در سال 1899میلادی منتشر شده است؛ داستان درباره ی زندگی «ادنا»، و کشمکشهای ایشان، بر سر اندیشه های غیرعادی، درباره ی زنانگی، و مادر بودن است؛ کتاب یکی از نخستین رمانهای آمریکایی ست، که بر مشکلات زنان تمرکز میکند، و از سویی، در دیدگاه اندیشورزان، نقطه ی آغازینی، برای برابری زنان و مردان، به شمار میآید؛ داستان با «ادنا» آغاز میشود، او با خانواده اش، برای گذران تعطیلات، به جزایر «گرند» رفته اند؛ در آنجا «ادنا»، به مرد جوانی به نام «رابرت لبران» نزدیک میشود، اما پیش از اینکه با هم رابطه داشته باشند، «رابرت» به «مکزیک» میرود؛ «ادنا» بدون «رابرت»، احساس تنهایی میکند، اما چیزی نمیگذرد، که به خانه ی خویش در «نیو اورلینز» برمیگردند، و ایشان دوست پسری برای خودش پیدا میکند؛ فیلم «گرند آیزل» نیز با الهام از این رمان ساخته شده است؛تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13051399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی


  9. says:

    WOW probably the most beautifully written book i've ever read plus so much feminism it makes me weak I adore this book and I am going to be buying my own copy soon so that i can reread and reread and reread it until I die


  10. says:

    I guess I can understand why The Awakening is considered so important in the development of the feminist canon At the same time I can understand why it was rejected so adamantly in its own time Chopin is an okay writer Her work however seethes ignorance Her work was ignored in its time because it really was not worth the recognition Anyway that’s my humble and not so intellectual opinion The protagonist 29 seems to awaken into an adolescence of sorts in this book In the guise of discovering her sexuality and moving towards some kind of self actualization she does little than become the town trollop while engaging in pseudo intellectual banter and hysterics Yes I said hysterics She addresses such issues as being a prisoner of marriage society social graces and motherhood At the same time she never makes the mental baby steps towards a lifestyle that would give her the power of her own agency She is spoiled coddled and does not have the courage to be a self sufficient person When she decides to rebel she does it by cheating on her husband abandoning her children and responsibilities All the time she is surrounded by servants extravagance and people feeding her distorted sense of entitlement Ultimately she is humiliated when someone with a better sense of reality rejects her advances She is left to build this new life for herself alone Truly alone This tremendous blow leads her to suicide She could not handle standing on her own two feet You can’t tell me that Chopin’s work is so juvenile and lacking because she was the first She wasn’t Not in Creole Louisiana Look at Aphra Behn Mary Wollstonecraft even Mary Shelley That was literature Those were the building blocks of feminist writing Chopin is spoiled confused and completely unaware of how the world around her really works