Callum McLaughlin's Reviews > The Awakening

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
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bookshelves: classics

Incisively written, and fascinating to read as an example of early feminism, The Awakening is still depressingly relevant today. It chronicles our heroine's realisation that the designated roles and strict conformity of marriage and motherhood don’t fulfil her psychological, emotional, or physical needs.

With regards to these themes, and its thoughtful, elegantly understated prose, there is much that I admired about it. Perhaps unfairly of me, however, I expected a little more in the way of outright defiance from our heroine. The book was written in the 1800s, and was certainly presenting a bold attitude for its time. I just couldn't help but feel a little lukewarm that her longing for independence leaned increasingly towards longing to be with another man. Granted, this still highlighted how trapped she was by a dispassionate marriage and societal expectations; perhaps it just wasn't as radical a fight for freedom and agency as I'd set my hopes on.

Still, this is a subtle and resonant read that I feel more than justifies its place within the feminist canon.
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Reading Progress

October 4, 2017 – Shelved
October 4, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
October 4, 2017 – Shelved as: classics
January 1, 2019 – Started Reading
January 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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