During the feminist movement many female authors began to write novels about female emancipation. In these novels, the protagonist experiences enlightenment where she discovers that she is living an incomplete life that society has oppressed her into. Before the movement, society forced women into roles that were inferior to men and they were thought of as men’s property. Harold bloom states, “The direction of The Awakening follows what is becoming a pattern in literature by and about women…toward greater self-knowledge that leads in turn to a revelation of the disparity between that self-knowledge and nature of the world” (Bloom, Kate Chopin 43). Moreover, Chopin viewed women’s independence as a personal challenge more than a social struggle, which contradicts her literary works. According to Harold Bloom, “Chopin’s novel was not intended to make a broad social statement but rather that it indicates that Chopin viewed women’s independence as a personal matter”(Bloom, Bloom’s Notes 58). In the past, the novel was banned because of its connection to the feminist movement.
In The Awakening, Kate Chopin creates a protagonist that clearly demonstrates a feminist. The protagonist, Edna Pontellier seeks more from life than what she is living and starts to refuse the standards of the society she lives in. Edna has many moments of awakening resulting in creating a new person for herself. She starts to see the life of freedom and individuality she wants to live. The Awakening encourages feminism as a way for women to obtain freedom and choose individuality over conformity. Chopin creates a feminist story that shows a transformation from an obedient “mother-woman” to a woman who is willing to sacrifice her old life to become independent and make an identity for herself.
Kate Chopin is known for being criticized for empowering the subject of female sexuality and independence. In Chopin’s short story, “The Story of an Hour”, it is placed in a time where men were known as being the head of the household while women were only in charge of raising the children and caring for the home. In the 1890s, women didn’t have so much power to themselves compared to today’s society where female empowerment is frequently encouraged. Chopin’s story narrates a sequence of Mrs. Mallard’s emotions that goes within the motion of the story. As she overcomes the sudden death of her husband, her emotion of grief soon turns into the sudden feeling of freedom, later on emerging into a strong independent woman.
Kate Chopin’s aspiration to deliver The Awakening was to convey to the early 20th century public her position of women’s roles, rights, and independence in a time of strict gender roles. Chopin conveys to readers the oppression of women during her time. Edna Pontellier is Chopin’s protagonist in the novel, and she finds herself unhappy and contempt of her role as a republican mother, which characterizes the idea of women’s work, and Edna identifies indirectly with the women at the Seneca Falls convention. Throughout the book Edna’s husband, Leónce Pontellier, continually scolds her for not being an attentive and loving mother and Edna compares herself with Madame Ratignolle, who is the epitome of motherhood
Commonly explored throughout her works, the idea of marriage inhibiting a woman’s freedom is the driving force behind Kate Chopin’s contextual objections to propriety. In particular, The Awakening and “The Story of an Hour” explore the lives of women seeking marital liberation and individuality. Mrs. Chopin, who was raised in a matriarchal household, expresses her opposition to the nineteenth century patriarchal society while using her personal experiences to exemplify her feminist views.
Over the course of time the male species has always been the gender to attain the more favorable conditions. Numerous cultures heed to the belief that the man is the provider and head of his family. This machismo nature can condition the mind to believe that a man should feel superior to a woman. The continuous cycle of male superiority flows down from father to son subconsciously. Do to this unceasing sequence of behavior women fall subject to repression and control at the hands of mentally undeveloped men. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, illustrated this particular topic in a way that not only appealed to the readers’ sense of pathos but, the readers’ likeliness to be able to relate to the aforementioned as well. Chopin stylistically renders the struggle of the protagonist Edna Pontellier, a strong willed woman who finds herself imprisoned to the concept of trans-temporal existence, as she seeks refuge to her true being, Edna experiments relationships with multiple men that unintentionally repress her existence. Between Leonce Pontellier, Robert Lebrun, Alcee Arobin and The Colonel effect of Edna’s life they catalyze her awakening and ultimately lead her suicide.
Have you ever wondered what the lifestyles of Nineteenth Century women were like? Were they independent, career women or were they typical housewives that cooked, clean, watched the children, and catered to their husbands. Did the women of this era express themselves freely or did they just do what society expected of them? Kate Chopin was a female author who wrote several stories and two novels about women. One of her renowned works of art is The Awakening. This novel created great controversy and received negative criticism from literary critics due to Chopin's portrayal of women by Edna throughout the book.
Kate Chopin’s controversial novel, The Awakening, ignited turmoil because of her blatant disregard of the established 19th century perspective of women upholding strictly maternal and matrimonial responsibilities. Edna’s candid exploration of the restrictions on women through her liberal behavior in a conservative Victorian society makes her a literary symbol for feminist ideals. Despite denunciation from other people, Edna chooses individuality over conformity through her veering from traditional obligations. Edna indulges in her love of art, which is considered to conflict with her expected singular devotion to her household. Exploring her sexuality rather than repressing any sexual awareness constructs her feministic mentality.
In "The Awakening" Kate Chopin's narrative is a critique of the ancient confines of gender roles and the sexism that comes with this cultural norm, ultimately conveying that the freedom of a woman's soul is not something that her society is ready for. The one independent-minded woman in the novel cannot live with herself because of the confines that society has trapped her in. Chopin utilizes juxtapositions between Adele and Edna, symbolic application of the sea, and diction indicative of sexism in 'The Awakening' to create this innovative critique.
The unique style of Kate Chopin’s writing has influenced and paved the way for many female authors. Although not verbally, Kate Chopin aired political and social issues affecting women and challenging the validity of such restrictions through fiction. Kate Chopin, a feminist in her time, prevailed against the notion that a woman’s purpose was to only be a housewife and nothing more. Kate Chopin fortified the importance of women empowerment, self-expression, self-assertion, and female sexuality through creativity in her literary work.
Throughout history the female gender has been considered the lesser sex, where they had little to no power over anything. Eventually they got tired of their mistreatment and those who wanted it to end became known as feminist. They hold the idea that both men and women should be treated as equals. Many feminist were authors who contained the feminist literary theory within their works. The theory mainly focuses on critiquing how women must comply with gender roles and how they have been denied their rights by men. The feminist literary theory has many forms, one of them would be cultural feminism, which focuses on the stereotypical women who is only meant to look pretty and take care of minor jobs such as cooking, cleaning, and watching the children. The feminist literary appears in the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which is about an unnamed female narrator who suffers from a nervous condition during the late 1800s, and is locked within her bedroom. The feminist Kate Chopin has written many works containing the feminist literary theory, such as her short story “The Story of an Hour” which revolves around Mrs. Mallard, who has lost her husband in a train accident, so she starts to shed tears of sorrow, however her tears of sorrow transform into tears of joy. One of Chopin 's novel, The Awakening tells the story of Edna Pontellier a woman who starts to realize the truth of society. Feminist literary theory can be viewed in many different
Through their works, Kate Chopin and Virginia Woolf were able to portray a certain relationship between women and society. While some literary pieces are optimistic towards women, others are not. In this case, The Awakening, a novella written by Kate Chopin, focuses on the inner battle that the main character Edna faces throughout her life. On the other hand, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, discusses ideas related to gender inequality. Both women seem to be facing inner turmoil that correlates back to the relationship between women and society during these time periods. Ultimately, their experiences are what drives them to change how they fit into societal norms. Therefore, the texts in this essay theorize the relationship between women and society in a way that can be encouraging towards women.
At the end of 19th century, American society presented an ideology of patriarchy. Feminists struggle for the equality and discrimination against female. As feminist movement started, lots of female writers were explored. One of the most famous writers is Kate Chopin. Her works mostly present a theme of women pursue freedom and equality. “The Story Of An Hour” and “The Awakening” are her representative works. In these two works, Kate Chopin reveals how women lived under the oppression of male-dominated society, especially for women who got married. They were not financially independent and their freedom and rights were deprived. Therefore female were forced to be an “angle in the home”. Both challenge the preconception that women can only be a housekeeper and marriage is the only way out.
Feminism, if anything, has appeared majorly in the literature spectrum through all decades and forms. Feminism is the political, cultural, or economic movement aimed at establishing equality and protection for all women. No matter the time period or place feminism has always been a popular literary topic that has made a few works quite notorious, including Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Both works contain the scenarios in which the main characters are taken advantage of due to the apparent feminist society.
The literary novel The Awakening written by author Kate Chopin was groundbreaking in its time as a story following Edna Pontellier’s transformation from an obedient, traditional housewife and mother into a self-realized, sexually liberated and independent woman— all written during the Victorian era of patriarchal constraints and beliefs that a woman was fit to be only a wife and mother. Chopin introduces a multitude of feminist issues throughout the duration of the story, including the societal structures of motherhood, marital expectations and feminine liberation. The fact that Chopin’s novel addresses these issues is a testament to how radical and ahead of its time The Awakening was. Although this novel was originally published over a century ago, it is clear that the feminist topics that Chopin proposes in the novel are still relevant today in our modern day patriarchal society.