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The Awakening

Kate Chopin's The Awakening was years ahead of its time. Following Edna Pontellier, a typical housewife in the late 1800s, as she rebels against her conventional duty as wife and mother and discovers self-ownership via her sexual awakening, the story was first published in 1899.

The concept of self-ownership is the main point of Kate Chopin's poem The Awakening. The book was created at a time when women were mostly seen as property, first the property of their fathers and subsequently their husbands. Edna Pontellier discovers self-ownership in The Awakening through her sexual awakening.

Independence and isolation are practically synonymous for Edna Pontellier, the main character of The Awakening. In the late 1800s, women had relatively little chances for independent thought or personal expression due to legal restrictions and social expectations. Victorian women were discouraged from pursuing their personal goals and needs since they were expected to take care of their family' health and happiness in addition to their household responsibilities. In the course of her slow awakening, Edna learns who she is and accepts her emotional and sexual needs. Edna first perceives her independence as little more than a feeling. She realises her own power as she learns to swim, and she is reminded of the joy of unique creativity via her pursuit of her art. However, Edna quickly encounters opposition from the limitations—most notably, her husband—that weigh on her busy life when she starts to express her emotions of freedom. Edna also comes to the realisation that autonomous thoughts do not necessarily convert into a life that is both self-sufficient and socially acceptable when she decides to give up her previous way of life.

The implication of self expression

When Edna finds a method to express herself, her long-suppressed feelings come to light. Edna picks up at least three new "languages" when she awakens. She begins by studying the Creole women's communication style in Grand Isle. These ladies speak openly and honestly despite maintaining their modesty. Edna is first shocked by their candour, but she quickly realises how freeing it is. Edna discovers that she can confront her feelings and sexuality head-on without being afraid. Edna starts to acknowledge, name, describe, and speak about her emotions after her Creole friends demonstrate to her that it is OK to do so. Edna discovers how to use art to express herself. Edna learns this lesson in Chapter IX when she witnesses Mademoiselle Reisz playing the piano. The mademoiselle's piano playing stirs her in a deeper way than past musical compositions have done; she no longer sees visions of loneliness, hope, desire, or sorrow. However, as the waves regularly battered upon her beautiful form, the very passions themselves were kindled inside her spirit, swaying it, lashing it.


Marriage is portrayed in The Awakening as a snare and a false promise of bliss for unwary women. In Chapter VII, the narrator claims that Edna and Léonce's marriage was "pure chance," implying that she was compelled to marry him. The narrator describes Edna falling for a number of men before she meets Léonce in his account of their romance, but she never thinks about the repercussions of becoming a bride, such as creating a home with someone and having children. In this way, Edna desires love, but because society associates love with marriage, when she finds love, she is forced to accept a lifestyle that she had not fully anticipated. As Edna starts to understand who she is as a person, she starts to perceive Adèle, who is comfortable in her marriage, as someone who is only content because she doesn't know how to ask for more.

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Thanks for sharing!


Abdul Rehman Mirza
Abdul Rehman Mirza
Aug 06, 2022

Hey Sheraz!

I must say you have refuted the ideas very well. Self-ownership, often known as bodily autonomy, was a foundational idea in 19th-century feminism. It stood for a woman's constitutional right to be in charge of her own body and identity. First-wave feminists claimed that women could only achieve independence by refusing to give men, specifically, authority over their bodies. In particular, they emphasized a wife's right to reject having sex with her husband. They claimed that a woman's contributions as a wife and mother gave her ownership of her body and the consequent right to forego having sex or becoming pregnant. Edna fights against her husband's objectification of her, who describes how he looks at her as "a…


Hey, Sheraz!

This is my favorite book at the moment. I very much like it. I feel the point is to understand why Enda makes her choices and how the world around her influences them.

You've debunked all the themes in well-articulated manner. The whole point of the book is about her discovering herself as an individual. Her failure isn't that she abandoned the children but that she abandons herself. If this has a failure as a feminist novel it is the formulaic ending where she is punished for her desires.

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