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The Awakening and Selected Stories

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  11,927 Ratings  ·  379 Reviews
“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”
Kate Chopin was enjoying wide popularity as a writer, mainly of short stories, when her second novel, The Awakening, was published to widespread criticism of its immorality. A wake-up call to women all over the country, this landmark novel of early America
Paperback, 296 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster (first published 1899)
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Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, girls
I spent an entire afternoon reading the short stories in this book, enthralled and enraptured, skipping "luncheon" to bathe in the hedonistic tendencies of Chopin's women. I am now tempted to spent all of my student loans in some tailor's shop, a fine restaurant, a play. I am tempted to sleep with the neighbor and call it infidelity, though I'm not bound to any man. And mostly, because of this, I am happy to be free and alone, to have my options open in modern day life, to follow my thoughts and ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Recommended to Dusty by: Carly Sweder, John González
Shelves: read-in-2010
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
Aug 15, 2014 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"
Genia Lukin
Oct 18, 2011 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.
Feb 07, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Free download available at Project Gutenberg

Just arrived from Canada through BM.

A very touching novel, I loved it.
Apr 07, 2013 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
Sara Jesus
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
Queria a muito tempo ler Kate Chopin. Finalmente tive oportunidade de comprovar a sua qualidade. Tem um estilo de escrita semelhante a Virgínia Wolf (uma das escritoras que mais admiro). Nao imaginava gostar dos seus contos! Historias que abordam as relações familiares. Mas a cereja no topo do bolo corresponde a historia de " O despertar". Uma novela muito inspirada em livros como " Madame Bovary" e " Anne Karenina". Edna apresenta-se como uma figura muito melancólica, mas que tem um casamento ...more
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 15, 2012 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
Feb 17, 2011 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
Chase Anderson
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 26, 2011 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
The Awakening was interesting on some levels, and I loved how Kate Chopin expressed some voluptuous and sensual feelings, the "awakening" of a woman to her senses and to a freedom she never really experienced before... But it was sometimes lengthy in its descriptions, and overall I felt both captivated at times and bored at others.

The other short stories were less interesting, for the exception of one or two, and had this same ambivalence: beautifully written at times, less so at others.

Not one
Oct 06, 2014 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.
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,
I picked this up in New Orleans where I found myself without anything to read, and figuring it was the right place to finally get round to Chopin. I read the stories all in one go, on the plane home, very drawn in by their limpid prose and the vividness of their renderings of a place I'd just left. That so many of them are about rendering the ordinary arrangements of domesticity under patriarchy in terms of horror was obviously pleasing. It took me a while, then, to get around to The Awakening, ...more
Apr 20, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: short-story
dnf -

I have trouble reading through the writing -- I don't enjoy the sparseness of her prose.
Jan 20, 2012 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.
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lt
On the plus side, Chopin's work is feminist. While some of her stories may seem mild and unworthy of controversy in our time, they were utterly shocking in hers. Some, like "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm", present ideas that are still considered deviant today. I believe these stories are still relevant.

However, her work is also exemplary of white feminism. Repeatedly, the black characters are referred to not by name but by position and even more frequently by percent of blackness - the mu
Jim Minick
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Depressing but powerful. Truly a classic.
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A moving and interesting collection of proto-modernist stories from the 1890s. The arc of the title novella, “The Awakening,” is a template for tragic-feminist stories that resonates through the next century, all the way to Thelma & Louise and beyond. In it, a woman whose life looks very good on paper - a reasonably affectionate and affluent husband, healthy cute children - is nevertheless restless and discontented, uninspired by motherhood and unsatisfied with the scope of her life. The sto ...more
An Te Chu
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
The Awakening was good, the short stories were bad.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her prose is very elegant, but the stories overall don't seem to go anywhere. The Awakening, the novella, is by far the best of the works included; three of the other stories, La Belle Zoraide, The Story of an Hour, and Desiree's Baby, were haunting, and I feel they will stick with me while the rest of the collection fades into an indistinct blob of the Louisiana countryside.
Chloe  Bright
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adelaide Mcginnity
I get it. Ennui stinks. However, just like with her obvious literary antecedent Emma Bovary, there is simply nothing about Edna Pontellier that evokes even an iota of my sympathy or interest, and since I am not interested or sympathetic, there seems as little point to The Awakening as there is to Edna Pontellier's dull, meaningless existence. After all, her life is one of endless privilege unencumbered by need or desire to work in any way; her husband earns all the money, and she has maids to ta ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
p.19 A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her.
p.78 But it's just such seeming trifles that we've got to take seriously; such things count.
p.128-9 She felt as if a mist had been lifted from her eyes, enabling her to look upon and comprehend the significance of life, that monster made up of beauty and brutality.

An instructive story and rather interesting read.

Symbolism runs deep throughout the text. The layers to peel back within the story are scattered throughout the novel: the sea,
I just wanted to know what all the fuss was about. The writing sounded so modern, there wasn't any Victorian "olde Engishe" in this book at all. Which even modern writers slip into when they get too wordy trying.

Kate Chopin isn't excessively wordy. She narratives everything semi-removed, sort of describing an outline, but nothing in a way where I felt attached to the characters. Even in the short stories, with the exception of Desiree's Baby, they seem to stop short. Some of the stories I was pu
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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
More about Kate Chopin
“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life.” 1296 likes
“The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies” 149 likes
More quotes…