Her awakening is sexual in part, but it is also a search for creativity, as suggested by her attempt to paint. She prefers to define her role actively rather than to be a passive object. The public was not ready to accept a liberated woman, even if she did commit suicide in the end.
Kate Chopin disappeared from the literary world when her book was critically attacked and banned from libraries. An accompanying concept was the assumed moral superiority of women, at least in sexual matters.
Various schools of criticism have interpreted The Awakening from diverse views. The advice that Edna gets from the pianist includes a reference to a bird that will have wings strong enough to fly above traditions and prejudices.
The inferior social status of women was firmly entrenched, especially in the South. Feminist critics also recognize other elements of the book relating to psychoanalytic theory, mythology, linguistics, and cultural studies. On the first page, the caged parrot suggests her feeling of being trapped by traditions.
Not all critics gave negative reviews. Cather acclaimed the style of Chopin and also compared the protagonist to Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina, heroines of classic European fiction. Edna breaks free from her cage, but she flounders in an alien environment.
She seeks the advice of the only artist she knows—Mademoiselle Reisz. She reads Emerson, the voice of individualism. From these sources, she gains the courage to challenge the authority of her husband. From the mid-twentieth century on, critics, especially feminists, have raised the status of the novel to an American masterpiece.
A major emphasis, however, was the consideration of the novel as a work of art, which often involved an examination of patterns of imagery that tie the novel together.
Feminist critics have promoted it as a neglected text that should rightly be placed among the outstanding novels of the nineteenth century. Willa Cather, later a famous novelist herself, praised The Awakening.
It presents the plight of a woman who cannot accept the idea of being limited to a socially defined role. A book that challenged the traditional roles of women was likely to be controversial. In her fight for independence, Edna becomes a threat to the values of a society.
The story of her brief flight, however, has become a celebrated novel. Critics from different fields saw it as naturalistic, an extended work of local color, or as a conflict between Creole and American cultures.Essays and criticism on Kate Chopin's The Awakening - Critical Essays.
Critical Essays; Analysis; In Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, various characters might be considered antagonists. Kate Chopin’s "The Awakening" was a bold piece of fiction in its time, and protagonist Edna Pontellier was a controversial character.
She upset many nineteenth century expectations for women and their supposed roles. Online literary criticism and analysis for Kate Chopin. Main Page | 19th-C Literature Public domain photograph of Kate Chopin. Kate Chopin () Literary criticism and analysis for the 19th-century American novelist and short-story writer Kate Chopin.
"Kate Chopin's The Awakening as Part of the Nineteenth-Century American Literary.
Critical Analysis: Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" Essay Words 8 Pages In the novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin () uses deep symbolism to show how the main character, Edna Pontellier, discovers her own independence in the society in.
See a complete list of the characters in The Awakening and in-depth analyses of Edna Pontellier, Mademoiselle Reisz, Adèle Ratignolle, and Robert Lebrun.
This lesson discusses the form and genre of Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening. The novel is a realist novel, with naturalist elements. This lesson also discusses the literary critical reception of the novel, which has tended to emphasize the feminist and psychoanalytic undertones.Download