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The Awakening By Kate Chopin

Book Sellers Honors 10B

Katelyn Dye

on 4 February 2013

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Transcript of The Awakening By Kate Chopin

Presented By: Katelyn Dye The Awakening By: Kate Chopin About Kate Works Cited When she published The Awakening,"Critics called it morbid, vulgar, and disagreeable." It was even removed from libraries and has been challenged twice since. It wasn't until the 1950's it was finally recognized as " an insightful and moving work of fiction."The novel was begun in 1897 and completed on January 21, 1898. Kate Chopin's original title was A Solitary Soul. It was published as The Awakening by Herbert S. Stone & Company in Chicago on April 22, 1899. ( Kate Chopin The Awakening). A main theme throughout the book is ' What is socially acceptable?' As Edna goes through her change in her thought process she comes to realize a lot about what people accept and how narrow the vision of women was. She realizes that she is not living life to its fullest if she is living with in the social norm. There are many instances in the book where people are pointing these things out to Edna. One example is in Chapter 17, Every Tuesday for the past six years Edna has observed her reception day—a day set aside each week for receiving visitors—dressing handsomely and not leaving the house. A few weeks after returning to New Orleans, she and Léonce sit down to dinner, Edna wearing an ordinary housedress rather than her usual Tuesday gown. Léonce notices her attire and asks about Edna’s day. She replies that she was not at home to receive visitors, nor did she leave the servants with an excuse with which they might placate her guests. He's angry and wishes her to be more like other women who like receiving guests into their home. Main Theme One of the major turning points in the story is when Edna begins her mental transformation. It says, "In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her." (Chopin, 21). Edna's husband, Léonce, is Creole (a person descended from the original French and Spanish settlers of New Orleans, an aristocrat). That is really the only Culture put forth in the book. She describes them as unacceptable and annoying. She believes they have no self-restraint and they always say the first thought that comes to their mind. Another thing that she talks about the Creole's Culture is that they have a very open expression for affection that still surprises her every time it comes up. Edna's Culture "Kate Chopin the Awakening."Kate Chopin.The Kate Chopin International Society. 1 February 2013.Web. 1 February 2012.
"Kate Chopin Biography."Kate Chopin.The Kate Chopin International Society. 1 February 2013.Web. 1 February 2012.
"Kate Chopin: Her Novels and Stories."Kate Chopin.The KateChopin International Society. 1 February 2013.Web. 1 February 2012.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Awakening.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 17 Jan. 2013. 1 February 2013. Summary Powerful Passage Main Conflicts Change in Edna throughout the Novel About The Awakening Catherine (Kate) O'Flaherty was born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 8, 1850. Kate's mother came from a French origin, this is why she grew up speaking both French and English. She was bilingual and bi cultural. This helped her to feel at home in different communities with quite different values--and the influence of French life and is obvious throughout her fiction.
From 1855'1868 she attended St. Louis Academy of the Sacred Heart.
In 1855, her father was killed in a railroad accident.
Kate married Oscar Chopin in 1870.
Beginning 1871 Kate gave birth to five sons and a daughter--in order of birth, Jean Baptiste, Oscar Charles, George Francis, Frederick, Felix Andrew, and Lélia
In 1882 her husband died of malaria--and Kate became a widow at age thirty-two, with the responsibility of raising six children. She never remarried. •At Fault (1890)
•Awakening, The (1899)
•Bayou Folk (1894)
•A No Account Creole
•In and Out of Old Natchitoches
•In Sabine
•A Very Fine Fiddle
•Beyond the Bayou
•Old Aunt Peggy
•At the 'Cadian Ball
•La Belle Zoraïde Kate Chopin (continued) In 1904 Kate Chopin bought a season ticket for the famous St. Louis World's Fair, which was located not far from her home. It had been hot in the city all that summer, and Saturday, August 20, was especially hot, so when Chopin returned home from the fair, she was very tired. She called her son at midnight complaining of a pain in her head. Doctors thought that she had had a cerebral hemorrhage.She lapsed into unconsciousness the next day and died on August 22. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis .(Kate Chopin Biography). Kate Chopin's Works (1851-1904)
•A Rude Awakening
•The Bênitous' Slave
•Desirée's Baby
•A Turkey Hunt
•Madame Célestin's Divorce
•Love on the Bon-Dieu
•Boulôt and Boulotte
•For Marse Chouchoute
•A Visit to Avoyelles
•A Wizard from Gettysburg
•Ma'ame Pélagie
•A Gentleman of Bayou Têche
•A Lady of Bayou St. John
•Night in Arcadia, A (1897)
•A Night in Acadie
•After the Winter
•A Matter of Prejudice
The Return of Alcibiade The Awakening opens in the late 1800s in Grand Isle, a summer holiday resort popular with the wealthy inhabitants of nearby New Orleans. Edna Pontellier is vacationing with her husband, Léonce, and their two sons at a house with Creoles from the French Quarter. Léonce is kind and loving but preoccupied with his work. His frequent business-related absences effect his domestic life with Edna. Because of this Edna spends most of her time with her friend Adèle Ratignolle, a married Creole. Through her relationship with Adèle, Edna learns a great deal about freedom of expression. Because Creole women were expected and assumed to be chaste, they could behave how ever they wanted, very unreserved. Exposure to such openness liberates Edna from her previously prudish behavior and repressed emotions and desires.(Sparknotes). Edna is the protagonist of the novel, and the “awakening” to which the title refers is hers.When Edna is twenty-eight years old and a wife of a New Orleans businessman, She suddenly finds herself dissatisfied with her marriage and the limited, conservative lifestyle that it allows. She emerges from her semi-conscious state of devoted wife and mother to a state of total awareness, in which she discovers her own identity and acts on her desires for emotional and sexual satisfaction. Through a series of experiences, or “awakenings,” Edna becomes a shockingly independent woman, who lives apart from her husband and children and is responsible only to her own urges and passions. Tragically, Edna’s awakenings isolate her from others and ultimately lead her to a state of total solitude.(Sparknotes). (Kate Chopin Biography). Kate's started writing In 1894 she wrote "Lilacs" and "Her Letters." "The Story of an Hour" and "A Respectable Woman" appeared in Vogue. And Houghton Mifflin published Bayou Folk, a collection of twenty-three of Chopin's stories.
In 1895 Chopin wrote "Athénaïse" and "Fedora," and twelve of her stories were published. In 1896 she wrote "A Pair of Silk Stockings." "Athénaïse" was published in the Atlantic Monthly. In 1897 Way and Williams published A Night in Acadie, a collection of twenty-one Chopin stories.
Chopin worked on The Awakening that year, finishing the novel in 1898. She also wrote her short story "The Storm" in 1898, but, apparently because of its sexual content, she did not send it out to publishers. .
Her work has been translated into other languages, including Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, Czech, Korean, Serbian, Polish, German, Spanish, and Japanese. She is looked at today "as a classic writer who speaks eloquently to contemporary concerns." Dr. Frederick Kolbenheyer, encouraged her to write. Kate began to compose fiction, and in 1889 one of her stories appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. In 1890 her first novel, At Fault, was published privately.
Chopin completed a second novel, to have been called Young Dr. Gosse and Théo, but her attempt to find a publisher failed and she later destroyed the manuscript.
During the next decade she she wrote a lot and kept accurate records of when she wrote her hundred or so short stories, which magazines she submitted them to, when they were accepted (or rejected) and published, and how much she was paid for them.
She wrote "Désirée’s Baby" and the little sketch "Ripe Figs" in 1892. "At the 'Cadian Ball" appeared in Two Tales that year, and eight of her other stories were published. The next year she wrote "Madame Célestin's Divorce," and thirteen of her stories were published. Chopin traveled to New York and Boston to seek a publisher for a novel and a collection of stories. Summary (continued) Edna’s relationship with Adèle begins Edna’s process of “awakening” and self-discovery, The process accelerates as Edna comes to know Robert Lebrun, the elder, single son of Madame Lebrun. Robert is known among the Grand Isle vacationers as a man who chooses one woman each year—often a married woman—to whom he then plays “attendant” all summer long. This summer, he devotes himself to Edna, and the two spend their days together lounging and talking by the shore. At first, the relationship between Robert and Edna is innocent. They mostly swim or talk. As the summer progresses, however, Edna and Robert grow closer, and Robert’s affections and attention inspire in Edna several internal revelations. She feels more alive than ever before, and she starts to paint again as she did in her youth.Edna and Robert never openly discuss their love for one another, but the time they spend alone together kindles memories in Edna of the dreams and desires of her youth. he becomes inexplicably depressed at night with her husband and profoundly joyful during her moments of freedom, whether alone or with Robert. Recognizing how intense the relationship between him and Edna has become, Robert honorably removes himself from Grand Isle to avoid consummating his forbidden love. Edna returns to New Orleans a changed woman.Back in New Orleans, Edna actively pursues her painting and ignores all of her social responsibilities. Worried about the changing attitude and increasing disobedience of his wife, Léonce seeks the guidance of the family physician, Doctor Mandelet. Doctor Mandelet suggests that Léonce let Edna’s defiance run its course, since attempts to control her would only fuel her rebellion. Léonce heeds the doctor’s advice, allowing Edna to remain home alone while he is away on business. With her husband gone and her children away as well, Edna wholly rejects her former lifestyle. She moves into a home of her own and declares herself independent—the possession of no one. Even though she still loves Robert, Edna pursues an affair with the town seducer, Alcée Arobin, who is able to satisfy her sexual needs. Never emotionally attached to Arobin, Edna maintains control throughout their affair, satisfying her animalistic urges but retaining her freedom from male domination.At this point, Edna finds comfort in visiting Mademoiselle Reisz. She is also eager to read the letters from abroad that Robert sends the woman.Mademoiselle Reisz is the only person who knows of Robert and Edna’s secret love for one another and she encourages Edna to admit to, and act upon, her feelings.Unable to stay away, Robert returns to New Orleans, finally expressing openly his feelings for Edna. He admits his love but reminds her that they cannot possibly be together, since she is the wife of another man. Edna explains to him her newly established independence, denying the rights of her husband over her and explaining how she and Robert can live together happily, ignoring everything extraneous to their relationship. But despite his love for Edna, Robert feels unable to enter into the adulterous affair. Socially Acceptable · Once Edna starts on her quest for independence and self-fulfillment, she finds herself at odds with the expectations and conventions of society, which requires a married woman to subvert her own needs to those of her husband and children. In this passage Enda's confusion and mixed emotions about her realization are becoming known to the reader.
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