What is the awakening about
The Awakening by Kate ChopinWhen 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 Chopins daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation.
Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work quite 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.
The Awakening Summary
The Awakening , novel by Kate Chopin , published in When it was first published, it was widely condemned for its portrayal of sexuality and marital infidelity. Today it is considered a landmark work of early feminist fiction. Her openness emboldens Edna, ultimately inspiring her to let go of her reservations. At first, their relationship is innocent.
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. Edna Pontellier's story takes place in s Louisiana, within the upper-class Creole society.
The first half of the novel takes place in Grand Isle, an island off the coast of Louisiana. Over the summer it is inhabited by upper-class Creole families from New Orleans who go there to escape from the heat and to relax by the ocean. During the week, the women and children stay on the island, while the men return to the city to work. During the summer, Edna Pontellier meets a young gallant named Robert Lebrun , whose mother rents out the cottages on the island. The two spend almost all their time together, and Edna greatly enjoys his company, especially since her husband is generally preoccupied with business. Due to Robert's constant presence, Edna starts to experience a change within herself: she begins to develop a sense of herself as a whole person, with unique wants, interests, and desires. She realizes that she is not content to be simply a wife and a mother, and she begins to assert herself to her husband.
The Awakening opens in the late s in Grand Isle, a summer holiday resort popular with the wealthy inhabitants of nearby New Orleans. His frequent business-related absences mar his domestic life with Edna. Because Creole women were expected and assumed to be chaste, they could behave in a forthright and unreserved manner. Exposure to such openness liberates Edna from her previously prudish behavior and repressed emotions and desires. This summer, he devotes himself to Edna, and the two spend their days together lounging and talking by the shore.