The Awakening Thesis

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The Awakening by Kate Chopin showcases the metaphorical awakening of a married woman named Edna. Throughout the novel, Edna deals with the temptation of her raging hormones and desires for other men. Enda also seeks to separate herself from the idea of a typical mother woman and identify as equal to man. While I am all for the empowerment of women and equal rights, I feel that Enda fails to properly address pressing issues within herself. This leads to Chopin’s book leaving the reader to shake their head in disbelief at some of Edna’s actions. As a reader in the 21st Century, The Awakening transforms to Everything Feminists do to Prevent Gender Equality. The entire novel is not filled with disappointments though, as it firmly stands in the…show more content…
Part of the disconnect from the intended message of Chopin’s novel, for me, comes when Edna is forgetful towards her children. Regardless of a person’s gender, all but forgetting about your children is unacceptable behavior. On every occasion when her children are mentioned, though few, I could not help but find myself enraged at Enda’s lack of passion for them. What did Edna’s children ever do to her? From whom will they receive proper guidance to be successful in life? Her husband, Leonce, oftentimes seems to be more tender and patient than a different man of the time period. It is interesting to see Chopin portray Leonce as such a tolerant character, since the foundation of feminism is that man refuses to treat a woman as they would a fellow man. It never seems that anyone is responsible for Edna’s deterioration other than…show more content…
This is where my feelings towards the novel become mixed. On one side of the conflict, Edna’s undeniable thirst for lascivious men makes absolutely no sense. On the other side, Edna is unhappy with the man she married. As a reader who Chopin was perhaps not expecting to have to cater to hundreds of years in the future, I cannot say that she was incorrect for making Edna take the unfaithful route that she did. To be unfaithful without getting caught may sound unethical; however, a woman in that time period had very little choice; to be dissatisfied with life by remaining unhappily married, divorcing their husbands and earning the title of a tramp, or to stealthily possess feelings of desire. Again though, Edna does not truly love the men whom she is unfaithful with. This sort of controversy is consistently at play throughout the novel, threatening to viciously drive the reader's mind straight into the deep end; no pun

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