Gender Roles In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

1802 Words8 Pages
The Awakening: Gender Roles and Societal Limits Kate Chopin devoted herself and her writings to challenge the given female role in society during her time, to express a woman’s distinct identity apart from her husband, and to render a pure female experience. She once wrote, “The bird that would soar above the plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.” The Awakening thoroughly described the liberation of the female protagonist and her gender role in society. The heroine of this novel experienced self-discovery, separation from marriage, and a sexual awakening. This liberating emancipation of freedom went against the behavior and morals of nineteenth century women, but it forced many women to question their restricted roles in…show more content…
Edna returned to her home in New Orleans where she neglected all of her social responsibilities (Ewell 141). She felt a new, awakened sense in her that, and her actions became impulsive but expressive at the same time. Edna placed her utmost priority on her desires, rather than any expected duties from her. Since her husband left for a business trip and her children were also gone, Edna decided to move into a new house and have a dispassionate affair with Alcèe Arobin (Ewell 142). Her decision was motivated by her lack of allegiance to her husband, and she did not want to live off his money. This displayed Edna as an independent woman distinctly apart from her husband. Her affair with Alcèe Arobin was solely for her own sexual desire; Edna maintained authority and never let Alcèe Arobin control her: “They became intimate and friendly…then by leaps…appealing to the animalism that stirred impatiently within her” (Chopin 75). Chopin portrayed Edna as a rebel who defied her duty as a faithful wife and mother, but at the same time Edna was seen as a young, determined woman who was trying to find herself. Since she was unable to emotionally connect with Alcèe Arobin, Edna kept searching for more ways to express herself (Bogarad). After her affair, Edna “felt as if a mist had been lifted from her eyes, enabling her to look up on and comprehend the significance of life” (Chopin 80). Every defiant action she accomplished was towards absolving herself from responsibilities, which also enhanced her potency and growth as an

More about Gender Roles In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Open Document