Feminism; the Awakening

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The Emergence of Feminism

In the 19th century women were supposed live by concept of Republican Motherhood. Republican Motherhood is the idea that American women had a few main roles, to stay in their homes, to train their children to be good American citizens and to follow the demands of their husbands. This reinforced the idea of that a domestic women's life should be separate from the public world of men. Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. Feminism in 1900s pursued many freedoms that were considered scandalous before the turn of the century, and still today many believe woman should hold the classic stay at home mother role. When
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Edna's relationships with Robert and Alcee show the reader of Edna's sexual awakening. Becoming aware of her desire to be sexually aroused is just part of Edna's awakening. Edna met Robert as she was at a vacation resort with her family. They immediately had an attraction for one another, making Robert decide to focus his attention mostly on Edna, as he usually does with one particular woman every summer: "Since the age of fifteen...Robert each summer at Grand Isle had constituted himself the devoted attendant of some fair dame or damsel." (Chopin, 11) As the story progresses, the attraction Edna has for Robert becomes more and more intense. Their attraction continues Robert leaves to go to Mexico just as we come to find out they have fallen in love. Edna starts an affair with Alcee after her true love is gone. This further proves the feminist movement of sexual independence, and not having to be completely committed to one man.
Most 19th century women lived by concept of Republican Motherhood, but some began to support feminist ideals that would become popular as the 20th century appears. Edna Pontellier in The Awakening by Kate Chopin is an example of a feminist woman. With her pursuing her own dreams, being able to stand up for herself and having sexual independence Edna is a strong woman ahead of her

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