Taylor K.'s Reviews > The Awakening

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
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Jul 11, 14

bookshelves: fiction, to-reread, for-school, own, just-like-a-woman, the-power-of-love, women-writers, in-a-time-long-ago, hey-shorty
Recommended for: women
Read in September, 2002

Books like this make me both angry and happy. They make me upset, because I hate that there was a time when women and men weren't considered equals, but they make me happy because somebody had to point the finger and say "this is fucked up," and Kate Chopin was unafraid to do just that.

When we first started reading this book in my frosh year literature course at Hofstra, I was pissing and bitching and moaning about it. I was not remotely interested in reading it. But I plowed on, knowing that it was an important book in feminist literature. By the end, this book won me over. The end is just unforgettable.

I have to say, though, that this book should be read with "The Story of an Hour," also by Kate Chopin. It's a short story about the thoughts that run through a woman's mind upon hearing about the death of her husband. It's expertly executed, and is one of my favorite short stories of all time. It also shows Chopin's wickedness, which I love. These two make a nice complement, because I'm pretty sure one beget the other.

Speaking of one thing begetting another, something like this is a clear predecessor to something like Fear of Flying - both of which are about the sexual awakenings of married women by men who aren't their betrothed.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Billy I love the fact that you used beget and betrothed in your review. The Awakening is actually one of my favorite books, and should be read by both men and women.

You've read the same edition of the book I read. Have you looked at the additional material in the back? Some of the newspaper articles calling Kate Chopin the devil are hilarious. And her responses are perfect.

Haven't read the short story you mentioned. I have to seek that one out.


Taylor K. I actually never read the back portion, 'cause I read it while I was at Hofstra, and I never felt like I had the time to do more reading than was required. I should've kept this, I don't know why I sold it back. Oh, to be young and hard up for cash.

Definitely read "The Story of an Hour," if you like The Awakening, you'll love it.


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