Who is Kate Chopin exactly? Notably, people acknowledge Chopin for her novel “The Awakening”, in which she is vocal about women gaining independence, but society did not particularly like her vocalizing her opinion. Hence, Chopin was a feminist, who wrote short stories and some novels. “The Story of an Hour” written by Chopin is an exhibition of a woman coming into her own independence. Chopin wrote this poem around a time when women were inferior to men, although Chopin’s message is clearly heard throughout the poem. In particular, Mrs. Mallard is the main character in “The Story of an Hour”, and she is waiting for the moment that she will have the privilege as a woman. Knowingly, when Mrs. Mallard got married, she lost her identity, represented by the open window, her name, and heart trouble, which are symbols of her newfound freedom. Provided that the “open window” is a symbol of her identity, Mrs. Mallard longingly glares out the window hoping for freedom from her husband. With that being said, Mrs. Mallard had an uneasy relationship with her husband because she felt trapped behind her husband’s persona, as if she herself had to share his identity. Given that, Chopin states: “But now there was a dull glare in her eyes whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of these patches of blue sky”. Chopin utilizes imagery to give a visual image of what Mrs. Mallard is viewing; she recalls “rain, scents that filled the air, and colors, which implies the season of spring.
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In The Awakening, Kate Chopin ends the novel in a vastly different way than most authors would have at that time with her main character, Edna Pontellier, committing suicide by drowning herself. If one were to isolate this ending without any context whatsoever, it would feel tragic and depressing; however, the events leading up to her death actually explains to the readers her spiritual reassessment and moral reconciliation, both of which being themes significant to the book as a whole.
These thoughts were a bit suspicious and frightful to acknowledge. As Mrs. Mallard sits next to her window she begins to contemplate what feelings are emerging from her, “There was something coming to her and she was wanting for, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name” (Chopin 653). This depicts the anticipation of change that is about to come into her life. Chopin describes it not as a physical object, but something she internally knows when it fact it blossoms into a new realization. With all these perplexed emotions she encounters from looking out the window to “patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds” (Chopin 653), these thoughts become the factor of releasing herself from her forbearing attitude into the new impression of individualism and
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.
Pigsy, Rib of man, Piece of goods, Frail, Scupper are some of the many words that were used to describe over the last millennium, some of the words which are very offensive today. According to dictionary.com, Feminism means the advocacy of women’s right on the basis of the equality of the sexes. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Chopin expressed female oppression and feminism through Edna’s life, her choices and the people in her community. Chopin had many examples of female oppression and feminism in her novel, such as Adele Ratignolle’s life, how women were stereotyped in the society at that time, why women in the 1800s fought for their feminist rights,
In the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, we see how much of an importance the men in Edna’s life serve as a purpose to her awakening. Chopin is known to write stories about women who are unsatisfied with their lives while living in a life that is dominated by men. Other than Edna, the main men characters are typical men of the late 19th century era. Chopin shows how these three men are diverse from one another. The Creole men are Léonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband, Robert, Edna’s mystery man number one, and Alcee, mystery man number two. Léonce, Edna’s husband, is a businessman who has no time for his family let alone his wife. Alcee comes off as carefree and does not seem to care what society thinks of him. Robert is Edna’s main mystery man who she loves but Robert doesn’t love her back. Throughout the novel, these men make Edna question herself, which lead her to her awakening. These men show how men in the late 19th century behaved. In a male dominated world, women were not allowed to do much except for be good wives and mothers to their families. Edna learned the hard way as to what it meant to be the wife of a Creole man in the Victorian era. Men expected too much of women because appearances meant everything and no man would want to have a wife who is out of line and not well behaved in public. In studying these three men in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, we see how different yet alike these men are to one another.
During the late nineteenth century, the time of protagonist Edna Pontellier, a woman's place in society was confined to worshipping her children and submitting to her husband. Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, encompasses the frustrations and the triumphs in a woman's life as she attempts to cope with these strict cultural demands. Defying the stereotype of a "mother-woman," Edna battles the pressures of 1899 that command her to be a subdued and devoted housewife. Although Edna's ultimate suicide is a waste of her struggles against an oppressive society, The Awakening supports and encourages feminism as a way for women to obtain sexual freedom, financial independence, and individual identity.
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.
Sexual transgression and sexual exploration is one of the most highly talked about topics in today’s society. The path to sexual liberation within society begins with experimentation and exploration, followed by personal acceptance, and finally, although not always, societal acceptance. Although we have come a long way on the path of acceptance of different sexual transgressions, the stories of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carre,” and Lyle Saxon’s “The Centaur Plays Croquet” show that this type of acceptance has not always been the case. Each story plays an integral role when looking at the steps on the path to societal acceptance. Chopin 's story dives deep into the area of experimentation and exploration, whereas Saxon 's story looks more at the areas of personal acceptance, and Williams ' story lies more along the area of societal acceptance, and whether or not acceptance is always the end result.
In the story about Edna Pontellier a major theme is her omitted self discovery. In the story we can see how Chopin uses style, tone and content to make the reader understand how it was for a person challenging many of the beliefs of the society at the beginning of the twentieth century.
When it comes to the word sacrifice, people tend to interpret it in many different ways. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk who focuses on the peace movement of people, once said, “People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present.” In the story, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier sacrifices her own life during the present, which means she surrendered her future by doing so, according to Thich Nhat Hanh. Some may ask, why would a blessed and fortunate young woman give up her privileged life? Societal pressure, self-identity, and freedom were just some of the obstacles Edna was trying to overcome throughout her life, the common factor of all these obstacles being Edna’s sacrifice, lead by her self-awakening. As the story continues, Edna eventually grows to appreciate and better understand this awakening, which teaches her to cherish her own life and strive to attain what she wants from it. Unfortunately, she found her escape from the wrongs in her life by suicide. On the contrary, her sacrifice of her self-awakening proves that she is human and has some of the same thoughts, feelings, and values as everyone else does.
Courage…dedication…persistency…fearlessness…these are the words that may abruptly come knocking into an individual’s mind, when we hear the compelling word heroic. Over the course of the novel, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, I’ve come to discover that these adjectives do not fairly denote who a hero truly is. Can you ever consider an outcast a hero?... living within the norms and ideas of society that may reject his/her own philosophy, an outcast that may just be eagerly fighting, both physically and mentally to convey what others cannot see. It’s time we realized that a hero can be derive from distinctive ideas or norms build within society, but the characteristic that one must contained to truly be derived or look upon as a hero… is love… the love that empowers one to fight for the belief that many others may just be oblivious to. This same love stimulated Edna’s awakening to a reality she knew she did not belong, a realm that she fought to escape by understanding who she is and who she needs to be inside the social hierarchy of the 1890’s.
For Centuries, man has been caught in the middle of a tug of war between two influences. One influence stems from society, an Apollonian lifestyle of order, structure, responsibility, while the other is the individual’s inner Dionysian desire for indulgence, impulsiveness, freedom. In Kate Chopin’s novella The Awakening, Chopin depicts Apollonian and Dionysian values through the description of certain settings and characters, while also depicting the dramatic inner battle that the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, experiences between these two influences. By showing the pull that Edna feels between the societal Apollonian lifestyle of structure and confinement versus the individual-based Dionysian lifestyle of freedom, Chopin implies that women
Many of Kate Chopin’s writings are trademarked by her unique, deliberate word choices. Chopin uses phrases that do not make sense and seem to contradict themselves to get across a point. In two of her stories, “The Story of an Hour” and “The Awakening,” Chopin’s word usage highlights the idea of self-discovery.
Kate Chopin’s early life had a great deal of trauma. She was born in 1850 and by the time she was 5, her father was killed in a railroad accident. In 1863 her beloved French-speaking great grandmother died. Kate spent the Civil War in post-bellum St. Louis, a city where residents were in support of both the Union and the Confederacy. Her half brother enlisted in the Confederate army, was captured by Union forces, and died of typhoid fever. In 1882 her beloved husband Oscar Chopin died of malaria leaving Chopin as a widow by the early age of 32. The premature death of Chopin’s husband was the catalyst for her professional writing career as she had no other means to support her family of eight. It is perhaps fair to say that premature deaths of the those close to Chopin forced her to live a life of longing which is perhaps why she can so excellently capture the feeling within her writing.