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The Awakening and Selected Short Stories

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  8,708 ratings  ·  419 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published August 18th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1899)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mary
I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for tragic love and a gloomy ending. For social and moral constraints pushing down until one suffocates. I’ve lived it. I caught my breath and clutched this book and had a completely personal reaction to the beauty and the agony.

Some of the one star reviews puzzle me, not because people disliked the book, which would be perfectly reasonable, but because some people suggest Edna could’ve just gotten a divorce and solved her problem that way. That she was a selfish “
...more
Christy B
I loved this story for the beautiful writing and the intricate way of exploring the life of a tragic woman. I saw this as a tragic story, not as the example that feminists having been using it as for decades.

The feminist themes are there, no doubt, but I don't think that Chopin intended it to be used as an example of what a woman in a similar situation should do.

The Awakening is a story of a woman who feels bound and oppressed by her marriage and by motherhood. This stuff was never for her and s
...more
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I did not enjoy this story, and I did not see why Edna's life was so bad. I can understand feeling restricted, but I think Edna was a very selfish woman. If anything, she should have thought of her children. I am not here to say that women don't have existences outside of their marriages, their children. I disagree strongly with that. But a woman has a choice to make. When she brings children into the world, it changes the decisions that she can make. She can be happy and she can have joy, but s ...more
Dusty
Apr 17, 2010 Dusty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Recommended to Dusty by: Carly Sweder, John González
Most reviews of The Awakening begin with a qualification -- "For a woman of her time, Kate Chopin..." -- but not this one. I loved it from start to finish, loved it up, down, and sideways, loved it in a house, with a mouse, etc. It's an angsty American masterpiece -- a Catcher in the Rye for late 19th Century women, if you will, though not only women should/do identify with Edna Pontellier's internal/external struggle against the social "norms" that strap her without her consent into the "mother ...more
kaelan
With several hours to kill before an appointment, I decided to pop inside a bookstore to pick up something "short but old." In pursuit of this end, I solicited the aid of the shop lady—one of those former English majors who've evidently forgotten everything they might have once learned in university. Following several false starts ("Sorry, ma'am, but I've already read both Animal Farm and The Metamorphosis"), she pulled a slender book from the shelf, saying as she did so: "I can't remember if I ...more
Molliegordon
I enjoyed this book. I read it in 3 days, over a weekend, and while I rushed the ending, I was engaged by it. What I found so important about this book is that it was written in a style where I felt I understood the main character's inner process. I enjoyed the limited dialogue with an emphasis on description, even during conversations. However, I felt that there was only one main character, Edna, and all the other characters reflected her setting. The ending (which I will not spoil) was particu ...more
Hanneke
Ik vond het een prachtig boekje en Edna een ontroerende vrouw. De sfeertekeningen zijn erg mooi. Het warme strand, de zon, de strandhuisjes, de zee, het vrolijke gezelschap op het eiland, de muziekavondjes. Het leven is mooi. Er is geen sprake van de naargeestigheid en donkere atmosfeer zoals die naar voren komt in Madame Bovary. Ik vind het daarom onterecht dat dit boek met Madame Bovary wordt vergeleken. Edna wil oprecht haar eigen vrijheid en ze wil met rust gelaten worden. Zij heeft daar gee ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is a short novel, published in 1899. It caused such a scandal that it was banned for decades afterward. The furor over this book was so upsetting to Kate Chopin that she gave up writing altogether.

The story is about Mrs. Edna Pontellier, a Kentucky girl married to Leonce, a New Orleans Creole. One summer, When she is twenty-eight, something inside her starts to shift. She's not fully aware of what's happening, but she knows she feels different. Gradually she stops obeying social convention
...more
Lina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
maricar
I admit it’s difficult to try to put up what I think would be my own review of The Awakening without it being influenced by Sandra Gilbert’s introduction (uhmm, so maybe I shouldn’t bother, eh). And yes, this reading was done haltingly, in between long stretches of intervals… *shakes fist* damn you, attention span shot to hell!

To posit Edna Pontellier as a ‘mother-woman’ on the verge of going through minute yet slyly rapturous, if harrowing, changes from within which would ultimately coalesce in
...more
Debbie
I haven't finished the entire book yet - I'll get to the short stories in the next day or so. But I finished "The Awakening," and I'm not sure just what I think of it yet, thus I've given it somewhat of an ambivalent 3-star rating. (Warning: my review contains information about the plot...)

This was an interesting read, made more so by understanding the era in which it was written (late 1800s) and that women back then didn't have the right to be as autonomous as they are in today's world. Edna is
...more
Sarah
This wasn't a book that caught my interest right away- I picked it up only to read a few pages and then put it down again several times.

However, as the protagonist came more to life so too did the book. I found Edna both more interesting and more sympathetic as the book progressed.

Chopin's style was interesting, too- sometimes lushly descriptive, sometimes spare- and generally quite Modernist in tone.

I can see why some people loathe this book: there isn't much in the way of external action, an
...more
Scott
This was my second time to read Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the last time being in the late 1990's when I was in my twenties. I think I appreciated it even more now after decades of adulthood and years of marriage.

I also understood it differently. It seemed less like the standard narrative of a woman rebelling against her social situation and marriage (though there is obviously that), in other words, less like Madame Bovary and A Doll's House, and more like a Virginia Woolf novel in which a uni
...more
Harriet
This was a revelation. It's uncanny to think this was written in the 1890's. She is a beautiful writer and the novella was fascinating. To think that women are still held back from what they truly want from salaries to sex to discrimination and being told what you can and cannot do.I can see now that when I was born in the 30's, although my parents were loving and wonderful, my mother did have her ideas of what a woman could and could not do and held to the idea that a woman should never scold h ...more
Emi Bevacqua
It was amazing to watch the unraveling of Edna Pontellier's well-to-do, refined existence in Louisiana. Despite her privileged upbringing, youth, beauty, wealth, status and creativity, this 28-year old wife and mother is stifled by the social norms of the day (this was published in 1899) and begins uncharacteristically to act out. After taking out her initial frustrations on her busy husband, she refuses to attend her sister's wedding, and then things go bananas.

I took off a star for the short
...more
Nicole
I like some of Chopin's short stories so it was kind of disappointing to get to the Awakening and find that there really isn't that much to it. Beyond anything, I'm confused by it, because when I think of feminist texts, this just doesn't seem to do the trick. This is completely up to interpretation and debate, of course, but Edna Pontellier just doesn't scream "feminist hero" to me. Feminism (at least in my mind) should be embracing one's identity as a woman and seeking equality with men. Here, ...more
Kelly


Dismally short, The Awakening entwines it's quiet mist of anxiety around our hearts when we first meet Mrs. Edna Pontieller. A beautiful, twenty-eight year old, she is adored by many, but a romantic cast-off of her husband (good thing there were so many cuties around). When she begins with some art, just a little dabble and taste, Edna's senses are becoming steadily and creepily wild. Nature and her seductive caresses are pulling at her heart and body, and this time, she does not refuse.

Remindin
...more
Ian
I found it hard to elicit much sympathy for Edna Pontellier. She has a successful husband who dotes on her and two fine, loving children. Her emotional and sensual awakening leads to her falling for the first young man who shows her affection and when he removes himself to Mexico to prevent any impropriety with a married woman, Edna allows herself to be seduced by the local lothario. Of course it ends badly, but was it really society's fault? Perhaps Chopin's depiction of Edna not as a martyr un ...more
Dara Potvin
Read this for a women's literature course in university.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I think this is a book now read in college courses, as it well should be. That women were once considered not to own their own lives, especially not their own minds, might be a revelation for those younger than about 30. This small book is beautifully written and not encumbered with the wordiness of the Victorians. I have not studied this time period - perhaps by 1899 literature was coming out from under those paragraph long sentences. This is just a delight, in spite of the ending which I could ...more
Kate Yoder
There were three reasons I wanted to read The Awakening: the author's first name was Kate, like mine; the author's last name was Chopin, like my favorite composer; and feminism. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that reason #2 that I wanted to read this book had some bearing, as Kate mentioned the composer Chopin multiple times in the book. Who knew?

I felt like if Kate was alive today, I would be friends with her. She has a sense of sarcasm and an ability to see through people (shown throug
...more
Richp
I read the part of the intro first, the short stories second, the novel third, and finished the intro and other stuff last. Damn the notes for spoilers for other portions, but fortunately I did not read the spoilers in the intro.

I rate the stories 5, The Awakening 4, and the Rachel Adams stuff 1.

The stories were a real find for me, and I rate some of them among the best I've ever read. There are many 500 page novels that contain less to think about than some of these shorts, which is OK if they
...more
Joy  Cagil
This is a book of stories by Kate Chopin beginning with Awakening, a novella. Inside the book there are 9 stories as:
1. The Awakening
2. Beyond the Bayou
3. Ma'ame Pélagie
4. Desiree's Baby
5. A Respectable Woman
6. The Kiss
7. A Pair of Silk Stockings
8. The Locket
9. A Reflection

The awakening approaches the realization of the female sexuality. The story takes place during the late 1800s in Grand Isle, a summer resort for the wealthy in New Orleans. Edna Pontellier, who is a painter, is vacationing wit
...more
Anthony Peter
I read this for a 'Novel Appreciation' U3A group I convene. I enjoyed it though some readers found it dull because it was, to the modern reader, old hat or because they found the characters hard to get hold of.

I agree that it's old hat in terms of the woman-awakening-to-selfhood theme, but I liked it because of that - a pioneering piece of work whose contemporary unpopularity validates the point it's making. There was a general agreement that the men were not presented unsympathetically (and I w
...more
Anita Pomerantz
There's a great chance this book could have been a five star read for me, but unfortunately my edition had a "prologue". It seemed like it was intended to be read prior to reading the book. It was in front of the first chapter. It was a very in depth analysis of the story, and within the first several pages of it, it immediately spoiled the ending.

Are you kidding me?

I immediately ceased reading the prologue and went right to the story, but the damage was done. I knew the ending, and I couldn't u
...more
Vishy
I can’t remember how I discovered Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’. I have had the book for years. I must have got it during one of my weekend bookshop visits. I used to buy a lot of Bantam classics those days and I think I got it then. I normally remember the bookshop from which I had bought a book, but I can’t remember the bookshop from which I had got Kate Chopin’s book. By some deductive reasoning, I have narrowed down the suspects to two. And that is where it will stay, I think.

I don’t know wh
...more
Sue Jackson
The Awakening is a book written in 1899 that was so bold in it's time that the author's reputation was damaged. It is about a wife and mother who struggles with the expectations of the day. She clearly feels trapped in the marriage and the rules that accompany that role. She also does not have a close connection to her children and does not embrace the mother role. Her family is mostly ignored by her as she embraces a life of freedom.

This book was well written for it's time especially because sh
...more
Sergio Flores
Okay, technically, I haven't finished reading the book because I still need to read the short stories that follow The Awakening. However, I must write what I think about Chopin's prized story before it escapes me. I absolutely disliked Edna Pontellier. I came into this novel with many expectations, primarily that this would be an amazing feminist novel. Nope! It was not, which I am okay with. I am not okay with how unhappy Edna is with her life. Yeah, her husband isn't super romantic, but her li ...more
Rebecca Ann
I started this story a few years ago on audiobook but couldn't get into it. The second time around I LOVED it. I think the mistake some people are making in their assessment of this story is in thinking of Edna as a hero on a pedestal. It seems to me she is an antihero, and the story isn't necessarily supporting or condemning either her methods or her goal in their entirety. Absolute independence is depicted as something Edna craves, but it is tied intrinsically to loneliness. She acknowledges t ...more
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5132
Kate Chopin was an American novelist and short-story writer best known for her startling 1899 novel, The Awakening. Born in St. Louis, she moved to New Orleans after marrying Oscar Chopin in 1870. Less than a decade later Oscar's cotton business fell on hard times and they moved to his family's plantation in the Natchitoches Parish of northwestern Louisiana. Oscar died in 1882 and Kate was suddenl ...more
More about Kate Chopin...
The Awakening The Story of an Hour and Other Stories Desiree's Baby The Awakening and Other Stories A Pair of Silk Stockings and Other Short Stories

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“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life.” 1239 likes
“The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies” 129 likes
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