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Controversial Views in Kate Chopin's The Awakening Essay

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The Controversial Views in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Kate Chopin's The Awakening is truly a novel that stands out from the rest. From the moment it was published, it has been caused women to examine their beliefs. The fact that The Awakening was shunned when first published, yet now taught in classrooms across the country is proof that The Awakening is full of rebellious and controversial ideas.

One of the main themes explored in The Awakening is that of a woman's place in society. In that time period, a woman was considered in some ways to be property of a man (Mahin 2). This is shown repeatedly in The Awakening, through the many relationships between the characters. As with many ideas throughout the book,
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Edna's unconventional ideas about her place in the society that she lived in is proof of the rebellious nature of The Awakening.

There are many other areas of Edna's story while illustrate the rebellious ideas that she represents. For example, her view of religion is very controversial for that time period. Throughout the story, we can see that Edna had no tolerance for the religious practices that were held so dear to the rest of society (Klein 3). It is not surprising that Edna refuses to "worship" any higher power, since we have also seen that she refuses to hold even her family to any higher regard (Klein 4). Additionally, Edna's attitude towards art builds on the unconventional themes of the story (Klein 6). Edna is told by Mademoiselle Reisz that ""o be an artist... you must possess the courageous soul... the brave soul. The soul that dares and defies" (Chopin 115). This seems indicative of the very soul that Edna strives to possess in the story. Her quest to become an artist seems tied to her quest to break from the conventions of society because of this definition. Edna's reverence for art and the values that it seems to be connected with make her personality even more unconventional in the terms of the society that she lived in.

Even more importantly, it was Edna's own
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