The Awakening Critical Analysis

1596 WordsSep 27, 20177 Pages
The Awakening by Kate Chopin Critical Analysis The novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, was written during the late 19th century, when the feminist movement was in its infancy. During that era, the novel was yet to be discovered and the few considered it as a disgrace. Many thought that it portrayed a negative example of how a women should think and behave. Women during that era expected the book to be more “sophisticated” and “ladylike,” but Chopin had a different view of how women should be portrayed. Today, this novel is a famous classic, read in many schools, and praised by many feminist. Readers can easily surmise the story’s theme: finding one’s identity is not easy. The characters and the setting in this novel contribute to…show more content…
In order for her to do this, she is inspired and influenced by two main characters who help shape the “Inner Edna.” Two characters that play a significant role in Edna’s life have a positive and a slightly negative effect in her awakening. The first character that has a positive and slightly negative effect in Edna’s life is Adele Ratignolle. Adele was a Creole woman who cared for her three children, loved her husband, was beautiful, followed society’s norms, and was respected in her society. Adele positively influenced Edna’s life when she acted as a “mother” towards Edna, by often worrying about her and giving her advice. However, Adele was a negative influence in Edna’s awakening because she tried stopping the “Inner Edna” from coming out. In the novel, Adele advises her to “think of the children" (Chopin 170). She urges Edna to consider the power of motherhood as a special virtue. Adele knew that Edna wanted to be free and liberated from following society’s norms and knew that Edna wanted to be completely independent. This meant that if she chose to let the “Inner Edna” come out she would leave behind her husband and two children, because either way Edna never saw herself as a “mother-women” anyway. In the novel Edna says, “I would give my money, I would give my life for my children, but I wouldn’t give myself” (Chopin 53). The second character who positively influenced
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