Awakening Essay

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When Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" was published at the end of the 19th Century, many reviewers took issue with what they perceived to be the author's defiance of Victorian proprieties, but it is this very defiance with which has been responsible for the revival in the interest of the novel today. This factor is borne out by Chopin's own words throughout her Preface -- where she indicates that women were not recipients of equal treatment. (Chopin, Preface ) Edna takes her own life at the book's end, not because of remorse over having committed adultery but because she can no longer struggle against the social conventions which deny her fulfillment as a person and as a woman. Like Kate Chopin herself, Edna is an artist and a woman of…show more content…
When Edna finally resolved to end her life it is not because she has been rejected by Robert but because she can no longer lead the type authentic life which to her is the only life worth living, and this is the result of the denial of equal rights to women by the society of that day.

Chopin has clearly taken care to anticipate criticisms that her suicide would leave the children motherless by having her recently visit the children to find that they really had no need of her and are perfectly content with the grandmother. In having Edna reflect that "she would never sacrifice herself for her children," Chopin was not arguing so much in defense of selfish- ness as against the view that a mother could be expected to deny her own freedom for the sake the children in a manner that was not expected of the father. Thus, women's struggle is synonymous with Edna's suicide as well as the events leading up to it. Edna plays a significant role in this story. Overall, I personally construed K.

Chopin's novel as a repudiation of prevailing mores which govern women's behavior during that period in time. Edna was an outsider. She did not comprehend that the personal freedoms she saw all about her were well defined within a construct of old established social conventions,

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