Comparing The Awakening And Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets

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Oppression is not a characteristic of society that simply flows from generation to generation through tradition and a standard value system. Oppression of a certain group, in this case women, is perpetuated by the oppressors, rather the patriarchs who create and manipulate societal values in order to objectify and limit women. Both Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets examining two distinct female characters who are eventually strangled by the shared threads of oppression and sexual independence. Their rebellion against such subjugating environments is not only indicative of the state of nineteenth century women, but also the consequences of pursuing freedom in a patriarchal society. Both Only by suicide…show more content…
Edna’s primary responsibilities revolve around hosting extravagant dinners and, thus, maintaining Leonce’s reputation. Edna’s independence, first sparked by her swimming, grows further when she realizes the domestic trap she lives in. Evidently, Leonce exercises his power most brutally at the dinner table, leaving to go to the club when he believes that Edna has underrepresented him with her dinner presentation. Such “insidious acts of oppression” only lead Edna to further question her role and “under the surface of her manner detach herself” (Allen 72). The dinner scenes that Maggie participates in carry the same notes of disapproval and violence, but, ironically, are hardly connected to food at all. Maggie’s ideal environment would be one in which her family filled their mouths with food, but instead, her family fills their mouths with curses. (Golemba 241). As Maggie searches for this ideal, Mrs. Johnson curses her, hoping that she may “eat nothin’ but stones and deh dirt in deh street” (Crane 41). The falling apart of mealtimes across different socioeconomic classes may differ, but both Edna and Maggie are both physically or emotionally separated from their families during such instances. In their aloneness, they further cultivate their perceptions of

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