Visual Essay On The Awakening

Essay about Feminism in "The Awakening"

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In the novel The Awakening, by Kate Chopin the critical approach feminism is a major aspect of the novel. According to dictionary.reference.com the word feminism means, “The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” The Awakening takes place during the late eighteen hundreds to early nineteen hundreds, in New Orleans. The novel is about Edna Pontellier and her family on a summer vacation. Edna, who is a wife and mother, is inferior to her husband, Leonce, and must live by her husband’s desires. While on vacation Edna becomes close friends with Adele Ratignolle, who helps Edna discover she must be “awakened”. Adele is a character who represents the ideal woman. She is loving,…show more content…

However, many women did not have the courage to stand up for themselves, and kept living miserable, and boring lives. They were not allowed to voice their opinions, or have any rights. The main character, Edna, portrays the motherly woman, who does not like the tasks society has deemed acceptable for women. Moreover, as Edna begins to become free she is more rebellious and begins to question everything. According to “Women of Color in The Awakening” by Elizabeth Ammons, “ It is the story of a woman of one race and class who is able to dream of total personal freedom because an important piece of that highly individualistic ideal… has been brought to her.” This means that this novel follows the theme of many other works of literature, in that a heroine is trying to seek free control because she knows she can obtain freedom. Women’s roles play a key factor to the feminism shown throughout the novel.
Women characters also depict the feminist critical approach throughout the novel. Society views women as being inferior to men. For example, The Awakening states that Mr. Pontellier, “… looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of property which has suffered some damage,” (3), which shows he does not appreciate his wife. He treats Edna as if she was an object that he owned, and had full possession of. Although it takes a while for these women to break free, they end up realizing

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