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The Awakening: Romanticism, Realism, and Local Color Essay

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The Awakening: Romanticism, Realism, and Local Color



Imagine being far out into the middle of the ocean and at that moment, having to make a choice between judgment and individuality, death and life? In 1899, Kate Chopin composed a captivating novel titled The Awakening. Throughout Chopin's day, the work was regarded as nonsense and a waste of time on her part. Critics found the main character's rebellion to be foolish and unlawful. At that age, it was believed firmly that women should be nothing less than completely loyal to their husbands and should joyfully care for any children that they had while their spouse was away, hard at work. Edna, the central character, did not follow this standard. She says
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Chopin tells of this younger woman with an older husband who runs with her intuition in search of her own mind. Another presentation of Romanticism in The Awakening is described during Edna's search for individualism when she says of her that "...no longer was she content to 'feed upon opinion' when her own soul had invited her" (124). Edna Pontellier has a desire to be her own person in her own world when she is placed in a setting that refuses to permit such an action.



This setting was Chopin's way of blending in the perfect amount of Realism. Realism is also a literary and artistic movement. Unlike Romanticism, Realism shows real detail of actual life. It came about in the nineteenth century as a response to Romanticism. All bleak social realities and psychological states of mind are displayed in this type of writing. In her writing, Kate Chopin's portrayal of "bleak social realities" comes in her setting, which is a reproduction of her day and time. It was thought of then that women were basically to be seen and not heard. The setting that Edna endures imitates this in so many ways. For example, Leonce does not respect Edna as a human being. He does not understand when she decides not to listen and does what she pleases. He saw her only as another treasure of his; she was something he likes to flaunt as part of his valuables. When she suggests the idea of
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