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The Awakening and Selected Short Stories

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  12,999 Ratings  ·  570 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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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Jun 18, 2009 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Awakening ~ A Review in Two Parts ~

Me, 20 years old, circa early ‘90s

Okay, so I just read The Awakening. What a novella before its time! You’ve got Edna Pontellier, manipulated into a stodgy marriage, her husband expecting her to conform to society’s rules and trappings. She now has 2 children and is feeling the pull of wanting to be her own person. An artist, a free thinker, not meant to stay at home and accept visitors. On a summer vacation in Grand Isle, she meets Robert Lebrun, a you
Free download available at Project Gutenberg

Just arrived from Canada through BM.

A very touching novel, I loved it.
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
Apr 17, 2010 Dusty rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sep 22, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2011 Lina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
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
Feb 17, 2011 maricar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Genia Lukin
Jan 15, 2013 Genia Lukin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, other, my-ebooks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2012 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2016 Poppy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Since discovering this gem while studying, it has become a firm favourite and a rarity in that I can reread it many times and it never loses appeal. I’m certainly not surprised it figures on most ‘best novella’ lists – even the heavily male-author orientated ones – as Chopin created not just a compelling story set in southern america during the late 1890s, which can be savoured in its own right, she also produced an iconic tale that challenges the perceptions and expectations of a woman’s ‘place ...more
Dec 02, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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 “
Jun 13, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the first time when I was sixteen, before I understood myself as a feminist or an artist or had any sense of my own possibilities or power, and it changed my life. This story for me is a cautionary one about the danger of awakening to your reality and trying to take control of your own life before you have the necessary skills, a community or a system of support. Edna is invalidated by her husband and his world, abandoned by her lover, and not truly believed in by the one wo ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2015 Hanneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 30, 2015 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Introduction: The Second Coming of Aphrodite, by Sandra M. Gilbert
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text

--The Awakening

--Emancipation: A Life Fable
--At the 'Cadian Ball
--Désirée's Baby
--La Belle Zoraïde
--At Chênière Caminada
--The Story of an Hour
--A Pair of Silk Stockings
--Nég Créol
--Elizabeth Stock's One Story
--The Storm: A Sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball"
Oct 06, 2014 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everytime I read Kate Chopin, its like talking to an old friend. This person knows and understands me well and vice versa. It is a blessing, a heaven-sent that we have Kate Chopin as part of the shapers of our history.
Apr 27, 2015 kaelan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joy  Cagil
Feb 03, 2015 Joy Cagil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Review of The Awakening here.

The short stories are also great, especially At the 'Cadian Ball, A Gentleman of Bayou Têche and Elizabeth Stock’s One Story, showing a diverse and vital talent for storytelling.

The introduction, however, is dismal. First of all, it promptly spoils the novel and almost all of the stories, without any warning whatsoever. Secondly, it's rambling and lacks focus or any discernible point, wandering from trying to excuse or erase Chopin's racist beliefs to pointlessly ask
Ok, so I read The Awakening for class, and I did not read the other short stories in the book, as they were not assigned. However, since the book is that main story, I consider it read. (And after reading the main story, how can I not read her other ones?)
It's actually a funny story: for my American Literature II class (ENG 226), at GVSU, we were assigned to read Kate Chopin's story from our Norton Anthology. But as I was perusing the free books at the school, I found this copy. I still ended up
I've read The Awakening, but not when I was mature enough to understand/realize what immense affect it was. I will re-read in that regard,
The altar, 'tis of death! for there are laid
The sacrifice of all youth's sweetest hopes.
It is a dreadful thing for woman's lip
To swear the heart away; yet know that heart
Annuls the vow while speaking and shrinks back
From the dark future that it dares not face.
The service read above the open grave
Is far less terrible than that which seals
The vow that binds the victim, not the will:
For in the grave is rest.

The Marriage Vow, Letitia Elizabeth Landon

(view spoiler)
Aug 15, 2016 Wynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An explanation regarding the rating: I enjoyed the end of The Awakening, the other 75% of it I found to be indulgent and repetitive, and I liked Desiree's Baby quite a lot as well. As for the remaining short stories, I had issues with remaining present and found the subject matter not all that gripping. With all of that being said however, I am completely aware of the feminist themes contained within The Awakening such as oppression, domestication of women, and patriarchal households (just to na ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I enjoyed reading this, but I wasn't enthusiastic about reading it. I think this will benefit from rereading. The characters and endings aren't the most developed, but the atmosphere of Louisiana is lush and realistic. I can see why this is an acclaimed work, but I wasn't blown away by it.
Fyza Jazra
Sep 24, 2016 Fyza Jazra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2016 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this.

I think this novella made me a bit uncomfortable, though. I saw a lot of myself in Edna, and that's probably why I kept needing to put this book down and find something else to do for a little while.
"A southern woman in a bad marriage who finds herself in a new place one day where her eyes are opened to realize that things shouldn't be the way they are" hit me like an intensely personal ton of bricks, because I've been there.

Of course, it was easier for me to end a marriag
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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
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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.” 1270 likes
“The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies” 137 likes
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