This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Spring Awakening Essay

3436 words - 14 pages

“Ignorance and innocence are not always synonymous” (Ziegler 5) is the moral of Frank Wedekind’s play, Frühlings Erwachen, which was first performed in 1906. Wedekind employs satire to warn against the dangers of lack of education for the youth of the play. Spring Awakening, as it is known to English audiences, tells the story of three teenagers, who are being awakened to their sexual desires. However, they are entirely unprepared to deal with these desires. Thus, “the awakening leads to death” (Boa, Spring Awakening 27) in the case of two of the characters and leads the third character to become “imprisoned as a moral degenerate.” (Ziegler 5) In 2007, Spring Awakening: A New Musical, based on Wedekind’s play, premiered on Broadway. It went on to win eight Tony Awards. This musical took most of the original scenes and interlaced modern, pop musical numbers into it. The songs served as a way to show the modernity of the issues raised in the play and to show the innermost thoughts of the characters.
In the original play, the problem lies with the parents, who have failed to educate their children on matters of sex and their bodies. This leaves their children ill prepared to deal with their sexual urges for one another. The adults attempt to mold their children into their own “ideal self-image” (Boa, Spring Awakening 35-36) They do all of this “in the name of morality, but in reality to satisfy personal desires.” (Boa, Spring Awakening 35-36) One could make the argument that the tragedy of the play occurs because of the adults. Moritz commits suicide only after his father disowns him for failing in school. Wendla dies at the hand of an abortionist only after her mother forces her to get an abortion for fear of what people would think of the family if her child were to have a child. Melchior is sent to a penitentiary only after his mother turns on him for standing by the girl he has gotten pregnant. Each of their fates are foreshadowed early on in the play. Wedekind cleverly clues the reader into what will happen. In the second scene of the first act, Melchior remarks,
I believe in instinct. I believe, for example, that if one brought up a male and a female cat together, and kept both separated from the outside world—that is, left them entirely to their own devices—that, sooner or later, the she cat would become pregnant, even if she, and the tom cat as well, had nobody to open their eyes by example. (Wedekind 17)
This is exactly what happens to the lovers. They are left to their own devices and Melchior uses knowledge that he has attained by reading books rather than being taught to have sex with Wendla, which results in her pregnancy. Moritz, in the fourth scene of the first act, says, “if I hadn’t been promoted I would have shot myself.” (Wedekind 26) This ends up happening after he falls to pass the next examination, which means he will not move on in the fall. Wendla, as she is about to find out about her pregnancy, exclaims, “I...

Find Another Essay On Spring Awakening

The Transformation of Edna Pontellier in The Awakening

888 words - 4 pages throughout the novel, The Awakening. Works Cited Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Herbert S. Stone and Co., 1899. Print. Garrett Brown, Kimberly. “Dropping Hints and the Power of Foreshadowing in Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.” Blogs Goddard. The Pitkin Review. Spring 2010. Web. 20 March 2015. Mascarenhas, Cheryl. “Bird Symbolism and Their Meaning.” Buzzle. South University. 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 20 March 2015. Shmoop Editorial Team. "Birds in The Awakening." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 20 March 2015.

The Awakening Essay

1000 words - 4 pages . Magill. California: Salem Press Inc, 1995. 156-59.Justus, James H. The Awakening of Edna Pontellier. Spring, Ca: The Southern Literary Journal, 1978.Pollard, Percival. Women, Womanists, and Manners. New York: The Neale Publishing Company, 1969.4 Seyersted, Per. The Complete Works of Kate Chopin. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1969.Skaggs, Peggy. Kate Chopin. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1995.Wilson, Edmund. Novelists of the Post""War South: Albion W. Tourgee, George W. Cable, Kate Chopin, Thomas Nelson Page. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.

Spring Reawakened: The Mind and Matter of Rock and Rebellion

1741 words - 7 pages What constitutes a rebellion against conformity? Is the desire for revolution a matter of action or simply a state of mind? In the 1990s, America’s counterculture was founded on the alternative, grunge, and punk rock movements that embodied the spirit of intrapersonal tension and social upheaval. The ideas emphasized through this counterculture have utilized and influenced many art forms, including theatre. Steven Sater’s Spring Awakening

Beauty Of Change

610 words - 2 pages Descriptive Essay Beauty of Change I lived in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, for a few years after high school. The natural scenery of this area is breathtaking. I would relax on my balcony, have my morning coffee and absorb my surroundings. I particularly enjoyed the varying beauty of a specific item in my back yard. The magnificence of the Northern Elm tree is a ritual of change. The exciting spring awakening, the leisurely fall striptease and the

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

1107 words - 4 pages , Maternity, and Catholicism in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.” Religion and the Arts (Dec 2003): 7. 413-38. Lavender, Catherine. “The Cult of Domesticity and True Womanhood.” True Womanhood. 4 Nov 2008 . Schweitzer, Ivy. “Maternal Discourse and the Romance of Self-Possession in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.” Boundary 2 (Spring 1990): 17. 158-86. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today. 2nd ed. New York City, NY: Routledge, 2006.

Ambiguity in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

3630 words - 15 pages Ambiguity in The Awakening        Leonce Pontellier, the husband of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, becomes very perturbed when his wife, in the period of a few months, suddenly drops all of her responsibilities. After she admits that she has "let things go," he angrily asks, "on account of what?" Edna is unable to provide a definite answer, and says, "Oh! I don't know. Let me along; you bother me" (108). The uncertainty

The Awakening and Ethan Frome

1381 words - 6 pages This year in English class we read many stirring novels, two of which being The Awakening by Kate Chopin and Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. On the surface, these books may look like they don’t have much in common due to their dissimilar plots. However, there are a few noticeable similarities between them; both protagonists in the novels, Edna Pontellier and Ethan Frome, are fighting a constant internal battle. They want things they can’t have

Which had the most far-reaching impact on American culture:

958 words - 4 pages using the ideas to form a new system of government. They felt that they needed a say-so in how they would be governed and by whom. The Awakening caused turmoil in the colonies dissolving the stronghold of the Puritan religion, causing many to seek out a new way to worship. Enlightenment then led to a new way of thinking about more than just God, and eventually fresh leaders to represent the colonists’ new views. Colleges began to spring up

Kate Chopin – 'The Awakening'

4511 words - 18 pages ': Screenplay as Interpretation. - book reviews". Studies in Short Fiction. Spring 1994 (Thomas, 1)Robert V. Remini, The era of good feelings and the age of Jackson, 1816-1841, Harlan Davidson (June 1979)Seyersted P., Kate Chopin: А critical biography, ISBN-13: 978-0807106785, Louisiana State University Press (April 1, 1980)Skaggs, Peggy. "Three tragic figures in Kate Chopin's The Awakening." Louisiana Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 4 (1974) , 345-64Webb, Bernice Larson. "Four points of equilibrium in the awakening." The South Central Bulletin 4 (1982)

Back to Nature in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

2029 words - 8 pages himself and his Concord townsmen. The spiritual awakening of Thoreau and his readers is reflected both in the times of day and in the seasons in the year, with the greatest self-awareness and spiritual discoveries occurring in the morning and spring. Thoreau expresses the dichotomy between morning and spring in the "Spring" section by stating, "The pond began to boomŠan hour after sunrise... it stretched itself and yawned like a waking man" (293

hurston analysis

1612 words - 7 pages is the tale of Janie’s escape from this oppression into her own self-awareness and personal identity. However, Janie’s path to awakening is fraught with hardships. She must journey through the wasteland of being a possession before she may enter the garden of her self-actualized dreams of love. Abandoned by her mother, and raised by her grandmother, the beginning of both her slavery and awakening begin when she is quite young. While marveling at

Similar Essays

Spring Awakening Essay

1533 words - 7 pages North Central Texas College performed their version of the rock musical Spring Awakening. Their adaptation was based on the 1891 version of the play by Frank Wedekind. The modern version of the play is written in English is by Anya Reiss. The play basically expresses the challenges, troubles, and misfortune teenagers go through, but also the happiness, joy, and excitement. The play also shows that in the adolescent years, teenagers are still

Spring Awakening: From The Play To The Musical

1400 words - 6 pages magazine where he began to publish his own poems. It is between the autumn of 1890 and the spring of 1891 that he wrote is first major play and highly influential work in the modern history of theatre, Frühlings Erwachen (Spring Awakening). The play is a harsh criticism of the sexually oppression suffered by the growing youth at the end of the 19th in Germany. It addresses subject matters such as teenage desire, abortion, homosexuality, and rape

Spring Awakening, The Birthday Party, And Entertaining Mister Sloane

1272 words - 5 pages Spring Awakening, The Birthday Party, Entertaining Mr. Sloane; despite the fact that Spring Awakening was written a century before The Birthday Party and Entertaining Mister Sloane, and The Birthday Party and Entertaining Mister Sloane were written a decade apart, all three of the plays have common themes underscoring the most sinister predilections of the human experience. Intentions are obscure, hypocrisy is commonplace, and distorted moralism

Analysis Ofthe Play "Spring Awakening", By Frank Wedekind

722 words - 3 pages Frank Wedekind's play Spring Awakening represents an adult's reflection on childhood, the repercussions of ignorance, and the consequence of inhibiting the spread of knowledge to those without it. Although very brief and lacking in extreme detail, this work has a profound aura; it leaves the reader with thoughts of how things could have resolved themselves better had key characters acted differently. It also gives a sense of the sanctity of