Skylar Burris's Reviews > The Awakening

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
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's review
Jan 04, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: classics, feminism
Read in January, 1998

This book is considered a classic partly, I think, because it is considered to be one of the earliest feminist novels. It seems to me to have a lot more to do with the contrast between two cultures, Anglo and Creole. I guess it must be a feminist novel, though, because the main character engages in a profound and courageous assault on the domineering patriarchal establishment: she gets bored with her average life to her mostly decent husband, commits adultery, and then kills herself. How liberating. Well, that seems to be what passes for feminism in so much Western literature: female ennui. Somehow it all seems so self-important in a world where, even today, women are in some places still genitally mutilated, regularly beaten, or basically enslaved.

For once I'd like to see a "feminist novel" in which a woman remains loyal to her family and makes the most of her life and of herself even in the face of society's limitations. At least the novelette is well written and easy to read, and it also makes a good study in symbolism.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Erin *LOVE* this review.

Sherry I found the whole conclusion of the character killing herself as just plain stupid, didn't you. There is a movie out there with the same stupid idea. Well women, you can't do anything about it so kill yourself. Huh? Its lame, lame, lame.

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