The Awakening & Other Stories by Kate Chopin Summary
The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers with its forthright treatment of sex and suicide. Departing from literary convention, Kate Chopin failed to condemn her heroine's desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation. The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class life are the themes of this now-classic novel. As Kaye Gibbons points out in her Introduction, Chopin "was writing American realism before most Americans could bear to hear that they were living it." 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 is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating a mixed reaction from contemporary readers and critics. The novel's blend of realistic narrative, incisive social commentary, and psychological complexity makes The Awakening a precursor of American modernist literature; 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 Williams. The novel opens with the Pontellier family—Léonce, a New Orleans businessman of Louisiana Creole heritage; his wife Edna; and their two sons, Etienne and Raoul—vacationing on Grand Isle at a resort on the Gulf of Mexico managed by Madame Lebrun and her two sons, Robert and Victor. Edna spends most of her time with her close friend Adèle Ratignolle, who cheerily and boisterously reminds Edna of her duties as a wife and mother. At Grand Isle, Edna eventually forms a connection with Robert Lebrun, a charming, earnest young man who actively seeks Edna's attention and affections. When they fall in love, Robert senses the doomed nature of such a relationship and flees to Mexico under the guise of pursuing a nameless business venture. The narrative focus moves to Edna's shifting emotions as she reconciles her maternal duties with her desire for social freedom and to be with Robert. When summer vacation ends, the Pontelliers return to New Orleans. Edna gradually reassesses her priorities and takes a more active role in her own happiness. She starts to isolate herself from New Orleans society and to withdraw from some of the duties traditionally associated with motherhood. Léonce eventually talks to a doctor about diagnosing his wife, fearing she is losing her mental faculties. The doctor advises Léonce to let her be and assures him that things will return to normal. When Léonce prepares to travel to New York City on business, he sends the boys to his mother. Left home alone for an extended period gives Edna physical and emotional room to breathe and reflect on various aspects of her life. While her husband is still away, she moves out of their home and into a small bungalow nearby and begins a dalliance with Alcée Arobin, a persistent suitor with a reputation for being free with his affections. Edna is shown as a sexual being for the first time in the novel, but the affair proves awkward and emotionally fraught. Edna also reaches out to Mademoiselle Reisz, a gifted pianist whose playing is renowned but who maintains a generally hermetic existence. Her playing had moved Edna profoundly earlier in the novel, representing what Edna was starting to long for: independence. Mademoiselle Reisz focuses her life on music and herself instead of on society's expectations, acting as a foil to Adèle Ratignolle, who encourages Edna to conform. Reisz is in contact with Robert while he is in Mexico, receiving letters from him regularly. Edna begs her to reveal their contents, which she does, proving to Edna that Robert is thinking about her. Eventually, Robert returns to New Orleans. At first aloof (and finding excuses not to be near Edna), he eventually confesses his passionate love for her. He admits that the business trip to Mexico was an excuse to escape a relationship that would never work. Edna is called away to help Adèle with a difficult childbirth. Adèle pleads with Edna to think of what she would be turning her back on if she did not behave appropriately. When Edna returns home, she finds a note from Robert stating that he has left forever, as he loves her too much to shame her by engaging in a relationship with a married woman. In devastated shock, Edna rushes back to Grand Isle, where she had first met Robert Lebrun... (from Wikipedia)
The Awakening by Total Class Notes Summary
Don't want to read the actual book? Tired of reading super long reviews? This new study guide is perfect for you!! This study guide provides a short and concise review guide of The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The guide includes: · A short summary of the entire novel · The major themes and their relationship to the storyline · A character guide with brief details on each role · Bullet-point chapter reviews that go into more detail than the book summary · A few potential essay topics with possible answers. All of this in-depth study guide is designed to make studying more efficient and fun. Stay tuned for our upcoming updates that will include additional quiz questions, audio guides and more tools that will help you easily learn and prepare for school. Need help or have suggestions for us? Email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible. @TheTotalGroup
The Awakening in Plain and Simple English (Includes Study Guide, Complete Unabridged Book, Historical Context, Biography and Cha by Kate Chopin Summary
Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" is considered her greatest work. It also can be difficult to understand--it is loaded with themes, imagery, and symbols. If you need a little help understanding it, let BookCaps help with this study guide. Along with chapter-by-chapter summaries and analysis, this book features the full text of Chopin's classic novel is also included. BookCap Study Guides are not meant to be purchased as alternatives to reading the book.
Kate Chopin's The Awakening by Janet Beer,Elizabeth Nolan Summary
Providing all the tools for engaged, informed individual analysis of the text, this is an essential starting point for students of American literature and women's writing, or for anyone fascinated by Chopin's controversial work.
The Awakening - Literary Touchstone by Kate Chopin Summary
This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader?s notes to help the modern reader contend with Kate Chopin's themes and language. As the title suggests, The Awakening, published in 1899, tells the story of one woman?s emergence from the conventional Victorian role of wife and mother to face the social consequences of seeking personal fulfillment. More than a mere argument in support of freedom and equality for women, it is a compelling depiction of the subtle burdens that had been traditionally borne by women and the awareness that perhaps there are options.
CliffsComplete The Awakening by Kate Chopin,Sheri Metzger Summary
In the CliffsComplete guides, the novel's complete text and a glossary appear side-by-side with coordinating numbered lines to help you understand unusual words and phrasing. You'll also find all the commentary and resources of a standard CliffsNotes for Literature. CliffsComplete The Awakening offers insight and information into a work considered scandalous when it arrived from the turn-of-the-20th-century presses. Every generation since has been able to identify with some social or thematic aspect of the novel. Discover what happens to this heroine who found her husband dull, married life dreary and confining, and motherhood to be bondage — and save valuable studying time — all at once. Enhance your reading of The Awakening with these additional features: A summary and insightful commentary for each chapter Bibliography and historical background on the author, Kate Chopin A look at late-19th-century intellect, religion, politics, and society Coverage of Chopin's career and reaction to the novel A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters Review questions, a quiz, discussion guide, and activity ideas A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Web sites Streamline your literature study with all-in-one help from CliffsComplete guides!
The Awakening (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) by Kate Chopin Summary
“I have used the Norton Critical Editions since graduate school. As a teacher of high-school literature, I find them to be excellent resources for the study of various novels, plays, etc."—Brooke Gifford, Vincent Middle High School This Norton Critical Edition includes: • The annotated text of Kate Chopin’s modernist novel of marital infidelity, set in New Orleans and Grande Isle, Louisiana. • A preface, a critical essay, and explanatory annotations by Margo Culley. • Essays by acclaimed Chopin biographers Per Seyersted and Emily Toth, “An Etiquette/Advice Book Sampler” with selections from the conduct books of the period, and contemporary perspectives on womanhood, motherhood, and marriage. • Forty-five reviews and interpretive essays on The Awakening spanning three centuries. • A Chronology of Chopin’s life and work and an updated Selected Bibliography. About the Series Read by more than 12 million students over fifty-five years, Norton Critical Editions set the standard for apparatus that is right for undergraduate readers. The three-part format—annotated text, contexts, and criticism—helps students to better understand, analyze, and appreciate the literature, while opening a wide range of teaching possibilities for instructors. Whether in print or in digital format, Norton Critical Editions provide all the resources students need.
A Study Guide for Kate Chopin's The Awakening by Gale, Cengage Learning Summary
A Study Guide for Kate Chopin's "The Awakening," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
Interpretations of Nature and Gender in Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "Herland" by Miriam Weinmann Summary
Examination Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Trier, language: English, abstract: The work analyzes the way Gilman and Chopin respectively deal with nature and gender in "Herland" and "The Awakening," as these subject matters are central to both works, and the issue of gender seems to superficially affiliate the works as both feminist works. The focuses are, firstly, on how they depict the different genders and portray their respective natures and, secondly, on what kind of relationship each of them devises between humans and nature, that is, the role they assign to nature in its different manifestations-its physical appearance and natural processes, as well as human's inner nature-in each work. Moreover, the thesis points out contrasts between the respective depictions and provides explanations for these by drawing on personal convictions of Chopin and Gilman, as these are the key to achieving a full understanding of each of the works and of the respective underlying motivations. Thus, some of the authors' differences in conviction are clarified, thereby distinguishing them from each other. The first section provides important background information concerning prevalent convictions about the nature of the different genders in Chopin's and Gilman's time, as well as where those convictions originated in and how they affected men's and women's respective roles in American society then. To be familiar with this historical and cultural background is essential for a proper understanding of both works, as it constitutes the background on which both authors drew for "Herland" and "The Awakening," and to which both works can be understood as a reaction, albeit in different ways. In two subsequent sections, an analysis of each of the works with regard to the conception of nature and gender follows, and the final section deals with the said contrasts.
"The Awakening" by Kate Chopin - Edna Pontellier, a Woman Fated to Die by Claudia Dewitz Summary
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, Humboldt-University of Berlin (Institut fur Anglistik/Amerikanistik), course: "Death and Sexuality in Early American Narratives," language: English, abstract: In the following paper I will subject the character of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopins The Awakening to a critical analysis. Edna Pontelliers death at the end of the novel is not the essential sense. Since the society of her time cannot allow such an "awakening" of individuality to take place, Edna is fated to die. Therefore death is a forgone conclusion. Given that Kate Chopin tried to paint the picture of a truly liberated, independent, and individual woman, she cannot let Edna go back to her conventional life, which would be the only alternative. Following the biography of Kate Chopin closely, the reader discovers many parrallels between Kate Chopins life and the character of Edna Pontellier. The novel does not, as some critics of Kate Chopins time have claimed, lack "authorial comment and judgement."1 Kate Chopins novel was meant as a judgement of the Creole society of her time. Therefore it is important to examine the characters and the events that are crucial for the development that leads to the tragic end of Edna Pontellier. Starting with her husband, Leonce Pontellier, whom she does not love, I will discuss in what way the main characters Adele Ratignolle, Mademoiselle Reisz, Alcee Arobin and Robert Lebrun are responsible for Ednas "awakening.""
Kate Chopin: The Awakening - Edna ́s suicide: The Awakening to inner freedom by Nicola Dürr Summary
Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7 (A-), University of Freiburg (English Seminar), course: Seminar, language: English, abstract: In this research paper I will analyse the main character of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Edna Pontellier, and discuss reasons for her suicide. Edna step by step relieves herself from the obligations of her surrounding and undergoes a development that leads to new strength and independence. However, Edna never succeeds in reaching full individuality and goes the only possible way: she commits suicide. The novel gives several hints that lead to the conclusion that Edna’s suicide is an act of liberalization. Edna is surrounded by a society she cannot identify with and does not want to be part of. The role of the woman in the 19 th century was clearly limited to being a mother and wife. Edna does not feel satisfied with this life, as she desires to make her own rules and decisions. During her awakening, she brakes free from the social conventions and tries to lead an independent life. Yet although Edna begins to be independent, the only way she can complete her intention is to commit suicide.