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The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,635 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction, by Kate Chopin, is part of the
Barnes & Noble Classicsseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

New introductions
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 28th 2005 by Barnes Noble Classics (first published April 1st 2003)
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S. Adam
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Okay, technically, I haven't finished reading the book because I still need to read the short stories that follow The Awakening. However, I must write what I think about Chopin's prized story before it escapes me. I absolutely disliked Edna Pontellier. I came into this novel with many expectations, primarily that this would be an amazing feminist novel. Nope! It was not, which I am okay with. I am not okay with how unhappy Edna is with her life. Yeah, her husband isn't super romantic, but her ...more
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
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: americanlit
Beautifully written. I am not a big reader of feminist literature, but Chopin managed to put into words the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that surged through Edna . When reading these sort of psychological books, I notice what a tough time authors sometimes have doing this. Chopin managed to take me to late 19th century Louisiana. Nothing is superfluous or silly. For Chopin, each description of setting, every character, every piece of dialogue has purpose; there is an awesome depth to her ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Awakening has been a novella that I have been meaning to read for a very long time. It has been hailed as a feminist classic which, in a way, it is. Edna Pontellier, our main character, is feeling unhappy and frustrated with her life with a quiet husband and children. Falling in love with other man awakes her passion and yearn for a different life and she decides to take her life in her own hands. In many ways, the novella reminded me of Anna Karenina in its' themes and unlikable characters. ...more
Joseph Boomhower
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
It doesn't have a very good pace, nor was it able to keep me interested.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Possibly one of the best books I have ever read about a depressed, hedonistic person who is likable.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an underlying theme to each of its stories. Some would call it empowering for women. I would call it selfish. The women in these stories expect their lives to be perfect without any effort from themselves. I didn't like any of the stories and I will never read anything from this author again.
I stumbled upon a deeply discounted cache of these B&N classics in January, and so far they're pretty enjoyable. This one is no exception. Included are timelines, essays, The Awakening and many other stories by Kate Chopin. Rachel Adams does a decent job of putting this non-English-major in the right frame, and she annotates nicely so I wasn't constantly having to search the dictionary or web to figure out what various Creole or local language actually meant.

The Awakening is the big deal
Lisa Penninga
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Chopin & Mary Shelley are such goddess of the written word! I love this book, and reading it again, appreciated Chopin’s insight into the world of the late 1800’s. An awakening truly becomes a prison when there is no place to spread one’s wings.

“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusion all one’s life.”

“But I don’t want anything but my own way. That is wanting a good deal, of course, when you have to trample upon the lives, the
Sierra Bookworm☺️♪
I read The Awakening in October for AP English Literature, then slowly made my way through the short stories in the back. I would rate all of the stories in this bind-up between 3.5-5 stars, so I just went with the highest number :). All together, I really enjoyed reading through Chopin's notable works and admire her strength and understanding that shows through them.
Kristy Halseth
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in college and while I admit it was a well written book, I found it to be incredibly depressing. So much so that I will never read it again.
James Henry
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I get why this entered the feminist literature canon in the 60s and 70s. But I also understand why people kinda shrugged their shoulders when it came out in 1899.
"In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her...-perhaps more wisdom than the Holy Ghost is usually pleased to vouchsafe to any woman."
-The Awakening

 photo giphy_zpsghwfp21h.gif
I'll be honest, as forward-thinking, liberal, feminist, and scandalous as the The Awakening and the other short stories in this book may be, I found it a little tedious to get through. I had hoped to finish this
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: stand-alone
Imagine you were married to a man (or woman) who treated you like a piece of property, like you were a house that had to be maintained-not even like a dog that could be adored. Edna Pontellier doesn't have to imagine. At age 28, she is married to Leonce Pontellier and has two children. She is on autopilot, never coloring outside of his clearly marked lines.

Let me give you an example of how insufferable Leonce is: So, Edna wants some time alone and is relaxing in a hammock outside, when her
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the part of the intro first, the short stories second, the novel third, and finished the intro and other stuff last. Damn the notes for spoilers for other portions, but fortunately I did not read the spoilers in the intro.

I rate the stories 5, The Awakening 4, and the Rachel Adams stuff 1.

The stories were a real find for me, and I rate some of them among the best I've ever read. There are many 500 page novels that contain less to think about than some of these shorts, which is OK if they
This book honestly had a big impact on me when I was in highschool. I read it in the summer before my junior year of high school, when I had just turned 16. I was immediately captivated by Chopin's beautiful, lyrical way of writing, as if she were painting a portrait of this forgotten, enchanted world of Lousiana and the Créole culture. The book both shocked me and marked me, and it encouraged me to read a very well-written biography on Kate Chopin in the months to follow. Nice to see such an ...more
Jun 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not care for this book at all. "The Awakening" at the very least merited a reading, but the other pieces are simply not good at all.
The interesting thing about "The Awakening" is that it might be termed an "existential" work, long before that term came into popular use. I found the central concern of the story to be an engagement of Albert Camus' declaration that the only legitimate philosophical question is whether or not to commit suicide. Kate Chopin does deserve credit for attempting
Sherry Verma
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Chopin is officially one of the best authors I've read works of. Breathtakingly beautiful; I'm afraid any review I write will not be able to do justice to the beauty The Awakening is. It really did take up and wonderfully portrayed, like the title suggests, the awakening of a woman. More like, human beings in general. You don't have to necessarily be a woman or have a feminist approach to life to understand or appreciate this work of Chopin. I believe there are these empty places in our ...more
Well i just got done reading chapter 1 and i must say its really good, i mean i kind of didn't get it at first but once i read some more its not that bad it starts off talking about a bird i think or something like that, but them it talks about some lady that has her family and how its hard for her to be a mother when she has her husband always telling her how to be a better mom and she doesn't like that but she just deals with it because there is nothing she can really say to him i mean she ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very good book. I read this version back in the good old days when the cover still had a picture of a naked woman on it, not just some dude with baggy pants. I have to admit, 'The Awakening' itself left me kind of underwhelmed. Just another story about a put-upon woman cheating on her obnoxious husband that suffers from having no interesting characters. Edna Pontellier was every bit as adulterous as Anna Karenina (about whom I had finished reading a few days earlier) but too flat to be ...more
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
"'You are burnt beyond recognition,' he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property…"

I just read The Awakening out of this. It was a re-read for me. I love the story bout Edna Pontellier becoming herself instead of society's idea of what she should be. I love watching her transition from a domesticated woman to an independent woman. It is one of the classic feminist books. My biggest problem with it was that, as much as I love the story, and it was an
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is alleged to have caused great scandal in it's day and been called the first women's lib book and all that...I saw it differently, I saw it as a very erudite story of selfishness. It's one thing I guess to not want to be "owned" by your husband and pursue a life where all you look after is yourself - but i think if you're married you should go fucking around with two losers while your husband is away on business, while you've packed off your kids to live elsewhere and then swim to ...more
Girl Underground
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Chopin didn't waste a single word. I enjoy embellished writing, but nothing's as fulfilling as meat-and-potatoes prose--simple, easy, and good; Chopin shows that she had a sound understanding of storytelling. As for the subject matter, especially of the main story, all through the book, I found myself deeply moved. I hate talking about social issues in my reviews because a couple of women's studies classes doesn't qualify me, but here goes some simple prattle, anyway. The story of women having ...more
It was alright. I know that I'm supposed to say something more on the classic works of Chopin (and it does have some of my favorite short stories such as "Desiree's Baby" and a new delight, "The Godmother"), but I'll be honest: Edna Pontillier does not fill my heart with warmth, sympathy, or thrill. She just kind of is, even when you place her within the context of nineteenth century society. Although I think this is an important book to read, I would suggest a Charlotte Perkins Gilman short ...more
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I'm not going to critique this book like most people, where they complain about the feminism, the poor moral values, etc. etc. I'm certainly no feminist and definitely no adulterer, but I loved this book because of its mood. Maybe it had to do with my state of mind, but I found this book to be a beautiful literary escape. I was captivated by the world Chopin spun and I got lost in the "romanticism" of the book. I just plain enjoyed reading it, and maybe that has to do with the fact that ...more
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Chopin weaves a landscape that is easy to lose ones self within. Forget where you are while you read. Beautiful as that is, though, the most impressive element to me is how in touch Chopin is with the mind of her protagonist and how much of that she can bring the reader in on when much of the time the character is themselves unaware. I don't see some of the social problems I've heard others fault to this work. I just see a character who is a flawed piece of humanity trying as best as possible to ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My prior review was on the "Awakening" which was thoroughly enjoyed. Most of the short stories that we're not as enjoyable. They we're difficult to read. The only thing that I learned was the author's tendency to write about bad marriages, particularly with the nuance that the husband, while doting and outwardly caring, never seemed to really focus on the wives issues, and suicide as a solution (I am not convinced that is necessarily a bad thing).
The one story I did enjoy, and that was
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
LOVED the language--I could not only see the settings of the story, but I could feel the scenes as much as I have enjoyed the lackadaisical afternoon seeing Spanish moss dripping from a live oak. I could feel Edna's need for her own life, but I must admit I was disappointed with the swiftness with which the end came. I would have liked to see even more of her unraveling, as the pacing of most of the story was so genteel, but the ending so savagely quick.

As for the other stories, I enjoyed
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all", or however the saying description which fits Chopin's "The Awakening". Not only is Edna awakening to new ideals about herself, she is awakening to the fact that life does not have to be ordinary. I identified with Edna and all of the conventions which bound her. To be free of what society says is right and just to enjoy living and enjoying the companionship of others without restrictions (especially concerning her ...more
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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 ...more
“The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude ; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”
“Hope follows on the heels of Faith. And the white-winged goddess—which is Hope—did not leave her, but prompted her to many little surreptitious acts of preparation in the event of the miracle coming to pass.” 0 likes
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