The Awakening, By Kate Chopin

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Feminism has been a term used by many authors and writers for centuries, symbolizing women being able to use freedom the way they want to, not the way others want them to use it. Edna Pontellier, the main character in Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, experiences an “awakening” in her life, where she discovers her position in the universe and goes in this direction instead of what others like her husband Leonce tell her to take, similar to the style of feminism. “In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her,” (pg. 14). Chopin’s novel, published in 1899, received criticism and controversy because of its fashion of how it pictured feminism, especially with Edna taking her own life after learning she has no purpose in the world and wishes to cease existing. The Awakening uses symbols to express feminism in Edna’s eyes, such as birds, which represent Edna feeling caged in rather than being free, and the ocean, which depicts escape from reality, where Edna drowns herself.
In the days of the late 1800s and the early 1900s, women started to acquire a taste for feminism. Just because the men said women were not able to be involved in business did not mean women could not do the same things the men could do, they wanted a chance to be equal to men. Leonce Pontellier says to his wife Edna that she cannot do the same things as him due to her being a

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