Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sB, September 1996

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Portrayal of the character Edna

Her foils

Setting- feminist mvment, etc.


Intended to help the reader understand the character of Edna

her actual beliefs

external/internal influences


Helping the style, the tone also helps the reader understand the rest of the characters

Mr. Pontlierre (Critical Essay quote)

Mademoiselle (Speech about bird with strong wings.

V. Conclusion

Edna Pontlierre experiences a theme of self-discovery throughout the entire novel of Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening. Within Edna's travel through self discovery, Chopin successfully uses tone, style, and content to help the reader understand a person challenging the beliefs of a naïve society at the beginning of the twentieth century. Chopin's style and tone essentially helps the reader understand the character of Edna and what her surrounding influences are. The tone and style also helps the audience understand the rest of the characters throughout the novel.

The entire content is relevant to the time frame it was written, expressing ideas of the forthcoming feminist movement and creating an awareness of what was happening to the women of the early nineteenth century.

When 'The Awakening' was first published, its popularity wasn't that of modern day. In fact, it was widely rejected for years. Within the context, it is considered a very liberal book from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The ideas expressed within the content concern the women's movement and an individual woman searching for who she really is. Ross C. Murfin in his critical essay 'The New Historicism and the Awakening', shows how Chopin uses the entity of the hand to relate to both the entire women's issue and Edna Pontlierre's self exploration:

'Chopin uses hands to raise the issues of women, property, self-possession, and value. Women like Adele...