The Awakening by Kate Chopin

I’ve been in a feminist literature kind of mood. I’ve been trudging through Anna Karenina for a number of weeks and just finished The Awakening. I was soo angry! Also felt like there was quite a bit of hype. As an English major, getting through classics is a must. When combining my collection with my boyfriend’s, I stumbled across The Awakening. He had to read it in college. And so I picked it up and began my journey. Being a history person and having read quite a number of works written around the same time, I understood the struggles within society. Mr. Pontellier to fit in and give the allusion and live the life of proper upper class society. Making social calls, receiving, taking care of the house and children. Mrs. Pontellier runs into the issue of following these rules of society on a trip to the shore one summer. There she meets a man. They spend every moment together, and in many ways fall in un forbidden love. She also makes the acquaintance of some new friends. All making a huge impact on her outlook on life. Though this is written in a way very common and normal for the time, there just seems to be so many holes. Soo many questions left unanswered or never even asked to begin with. The ending was just so frustrating. It all seemed so dramatic. Though the novel is about a woman finding her own self, finding independence and even having an affair- the way the book ends seems to disqualify that. Almost upholds that women, especially at that time, could not handle life or independence outside of the home and marriage. It’s so hard not to give the outcome away for those who haven’t read it. My lit teacher laughed at me as I expressed my dissatisfaction “didn’t you see that coming?” “NO! It was terrible! I’m so angry!” Now that it seems I have given The Awakening by Kate Chopin a horrible review I definitely suggest reading it. It was good. Just prepare to throw the book when you’re done.


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