Condemned as "sordid" and "immoral" on its publication in 1899, this story of a woman trapped in her marriage effectively ended Chopin's career but was revived as a proto-feminist classic in the 1970s. What Newsweek calls Chopin's "prophetic psychology" insures its timeliness today.
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It is lauded by some students and teachers (and commentators) as a feminist masterpiece. Others would pin it as satire or a critique of feminism. Regardless, it's an interesting story. Chopin is no Chekhov, but it's pretty entertaining and makes one think.(less)
One of the earliest sleep-with-whoever-you-want feminist rhetoric books. I think much of what feminists fought for and accomplished was vital for protecting women. Women have never lived with such freedom. I stand behind many of the advances. This book, however, as part of the general 60’s feminist philosophy(not the major thinking of the early feminists), I believe has had a destructive effect. Instead of promoting a philosophy that men should be more honest about ...more
BIG SPOILER AHEAD - Be warned.
I had to read this thing twice in college, and it is a horrible story. We are supposed to feel sympathy for a selfish woman with no redeemable qualities. Just because her marriage is bad it does not give her the right to be a lousy, despicable person. Get a divorce? Yes. Find n ...more
The judge commented that it was troubling to watch a v ...more
“What have you been doing to her, Pontillier?”
“Has she,” asked the Doctor, with a smile, “has she been associating of late with a circle of pseud ...more
Psychologically powerful, the novel palpates with truths about the process of selfhood. Brillant insights, beautifully rendered, highlighting the costs of thinking your own thoughts beyond the accepted norm and memorable for th ...more
-Warner, Lolly Willowes
This book is an early distillation of a particular kind of novel that was being written periodically throughout the early twentieth century. These novels are all variations on the same theme, but the basic outline is the same. This one will serve to give you a pretty good idea of the lot:
Edna Pontellier is the rather well-to-do wife of a New Orleans busin ...more
If there ever was a Feminist Manifesto, it truly is Kate Chopin's "The Awakening."
Edna Pontellier is a 28-year-old wife and mother in New Orleans, 1900. Her husband is well-off, and Edna's days consist of watching the nanny take care of her two young boys, scolding the cook over bad soup, giving and attending champagne-filled dinner parties, and receiving formal calls from high society New Orleans ladies on Tuesdays. Also, t ...more
Here's the low-down: Edna is a woman ...more
Beautifully written and first published in 1899 this short classic tale of a woman's independence and unorthodox decisions caused a stir with the critics and people of the time causing the novel to be banished for decades afterward.......more
When Mlle Reisz asks Edna why she loves him, when she shouldn't and she says:
"...Because his hair is brown and grows away from his temples; because he opens and shuts his eyes, and his nose is a little out of drawing; because he has two lips and a square chin, and a little finger which he can't straighten from having played baseball too energetically in his youth. Because '"
"Because you do, in short."
And ... "...when I left her today, ...more
I love historical romance novels set during the 1800's. While those books are fun, I realize that this situation was much more realistic. Women were married to men they were very distant to and trapped in a world of ennui and as the author put it, a "quiet, vague anguish." I ...more
Be aware: this is somewhat spoilery.
As the novel unfolds, it is very difficult to like Edna Pontellier. In these days of two paychecks being requir ...more
I'm not like that. I crush constantly; on people I know, people I don't, people out of my own imagination. They last anything from a few months to a few years, and I never admit them to anyone, during or afterwards. I keep a list in my diary, intermittently; there's a ...more
Edna and Leonce Pontellier are vacationing at a coastal resort with their two little sons. Leonce is a generous husband in material ways, but does not connect well emotionally ...more
During the long, hot days with other mothers and their children, Edna attracts the attentions of Robert Lebrun who is the resort owner's son and a favourite with the ladies. He flatters Edna with his interest and a mutual friendship de ...more
This is a fairly quick read with features the spiritual awakening of Mrs. Edna Pontellier as she discovers that she wants more in life than to be a wife and a mother. Although life for women was so much more restrictive in thos ...more
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