The Awakening On The Awakening Essay

2093 words - 9 pages

The time period of the 1880s that Kate Chopin lived in influenced her to write The Awakening, a very controversial book because of many new depictions of women introduced in the book. The Awakening is a book about a woman, Edna Pontellier. In the beginning, she is a happy woman with her husband and 2 kids vacationing at Grand Isle. While there, Edna realizes she is in love with Robert Lebrun and that she was just forced into an unloving/dissatisfying marriage with Mr. Pontellier. Robert however, leaves for Mexico. While there, Edna picks up a relationship with Alcee Arobin who helps her realize her sexual passions. Edna has a sexual awakening, and is determined to get independence and she eventually leaves Mr. Pontellier. She shows her independence and sexual passions through painting. Edna moves into a house of her own. Robert comes home and tells her he loves her. However, Edna can't handle all of the social "rules" and commits suicide before finishing her conversation with Robert. The book contained a lot of sexual passion shown by Edna, which is a new depiction of women in the 1880s. The new tone Kate Chopin wrote in was influenced by society and her life. The Awakening caused a lot of controversy due to this new tone.
During the mid to late 1800s, the time period that Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening, women were expected to be a "mother-woman", which influenced Kate Chopin to write this book about the gain of independence by women. Women were expected to stay at home and do work for the family. In the article, "Women in 1900", Chris Trueman states, "If married, they stayed at home to look after the children while their husband worked and brought in a weekly wage. If single, they did work which usually involved some form of service such as working as a waitress, cooking etc. Many young women were simply expected to get married and have children." (Trueman, Chris. "Women in 1900." History Learning Site. Chris Trueman, 2000. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. . ) Women weren't given the same independence and equality as men were at this time. Women were expected to stay at home to take care of the kids and the house. However, Edna did not feel this way. It took her a while to realize, but she was awakened, she was conscious of her sexual passion and need for independence. Edna was expected to be housewife and take care of the kids. However, she did not take this role on well. Mr. Pontellier insulted her many times for neglecting the family and asks what would Edna be if she wasn't a housewife (Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Ed. Stanely Applebaum. 2nd ed. N.p.: Dover Publications Inc, 1993. Print.) In society, since women were expected to have this role but didn't want it, Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening. The Awakening depicts the difficulties women at this time dealt with through the main character, Edna. Chris Trueman states, "Many wives could not leave their husbands even if they wanted to, simply...

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