The story of a married woman who seeks love outside a stuffy, middle-class marriage, it portrays definitively the mind of a woman seeking fulfillment of her essential nature. Despite comparisons, the book is not derivative; it has a style of it's own, and a magnificently evoked regional flavor. An American classic, advanced in theme and technique over the novels of its day.
I'm not a huge fan of required reading, but this was one of my favorites. The original women's fiction it looks at one woman's life and how she feels trapped in her times, and the dark way that she deals with it.
Every person who seeks to understand the "Women's Lib" phenomenon is obliged to read this seminal work. It gives a look into the heart, mind and soul of a woman who burned to be more than a 'trophy' wife, a bed partner, a domestic factotum, and a bearer of progeny. How desperately she burned to live her own INDIVIDUAL life, secure education, develop skills, follow interests, and express her own thoughts, ideas and feelings will be made abundantly clear to any female reader, and will even give an insight to the male reader who approaches the book in an unprejudiced way.
Excellent writing - timeless. (This copy is well-used and does have underlining in it.)
A woman valued as a possession rather than a person, Edna realizes that her life has been ordered by the men in her life. Wife, mother of two and discontented with her role in society, she begins to turn away from associates her husband believes that she should cultivate to promote his business interests. She relishes the presence of those individuals who treat her as an interesting person and seeks out those who are interesting to her. She begins to paint not because she is so talented but because it allows her to do something that she herself can do to express her inner self.
While Edna adores her children and would give her life for them, she is increasingly drawn to a search for who she herself might become. Her husband is kind and gentle and loves his wife yet he is restrained by the values of the day. Edna did not marry for love but finds it in her search for who she is.
The book was first printed in 1899. Because of its controversial nature, The Awakening lost its audience at that time. It was rediscovered in the 1960s as the feminist movement gained ground in our society. I admit that I did not equate the tale with the movement, but then, I, too, understand have wandered these paths and have known others who seek to know who they are and might become. Yes, some might say that Kate Chopin was a woman ahead of her time but I suspect that many more women than Edna and the author sought who they were emotionally and passionately or who they might become. Good read!
This was a fast read that I found rather depressing. I am glad that Edna had an awakening into her life but the results were tragedy and an early death. I would like to think that an awakening would make her life more fulfilling, not lead her to the conclusion that the only way to remain free would be to end her life. I do not consider myself a "mother woman" in that I have lost myself to my children and husband, but I do find them them fulfilling and satisfying.
This book was first published in 1898. Interesting story, a bit sad. Well-written.
Chopin does an excellent job of showcasing the sexual awakening of a young woman and her struggle to build her own sense of self.
It was amazing to watch the unraveling of Edna Pontellier's well-to-do, refined existence in Louisiana. Despite her privileged upbringing, youth, beauty, wealth, status and creativity, this 28-year old wife and mother is stifled by the social norms of the day (this was published in 1899) and begins uncharacteristically to act out. After taking out her initial frustrations on her busy husband, she refuses to attend her sister's wedding, and then things go bananas.
I took off a star for the short stories at the end, I liked Desiree's Baby and Ma'ame Pelagie but not so much the rest of them. I'd recommend getting them out of the way first, so you can savor The Awakening on its own.
Chopin's last novel, The Awakening published in 1899, aroused a storm of controversy. The fact that this story was written back then shows where women were.... NOT where they are now. I find the 1-star reviews absolutely negative to this writer. Can you imagine living back when women didn't work? Their only job to please the husband that they may, or may not have chosen and care for their children? With barely any choices in their own life. I found this story compelling in the simple truths that it showed of marriage and sexuality back then.
Re-open your eyes and read this story. Take it for what it is, what it was, and gather strength in how far WE as women have come. Remember that Kate Chopin was socially ostracized for writing something that we now consider "real life"
I wouldn't have read this book without needing to for my class, but I wasn't completely disappointed. As a book that is influential in the women's movement of the early 1900s, it's not the worst. I really like the short stories by Kate Chopin, but the novel just doesn't seem to go anywhere. The awakening that the main character goes through is not as entertaining as it could have been. Also, it was very controversial during the time that it was written because of the affair that the main character has, but for today's standards it's not as shocking and therefore not as interesting.
Very beautiful story....saddening and so true to the modern day woman also.
I highly reccomend this book to women. A story of woman's struggles with herself, society and not settling for what is expected of her.
A very intense novel, emotional and interesting.
A classic. Had to buy it from school for school.
Daughter read this for her Junior AP lit class. She definitely recommends it.
I loved this book when I read it.
Needed it for a class, great story to write about.
this is a book that i had to read in high school. therefore, i didn't read it all and what i did read, i didn't enjoy due to being forced to read it. it sounds like a good book, but i just can't bring myself to read it due to it's previous context in my life.