The AwakeningBook - 1992
Kate Chopin's riveting, daring story of one woman's search for personal freedom was so far ahead of its time that its publication in 1899 aroused a storm of controversy violent enough to end its author's career.
With an effortless, sure-handed artistry, Chopin tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a young mother and model wife, whose romantic involvement with a young man during a vacation at a seaside resort allows her for the first time to imagine a new, freer life. Upon her return to New Orleans, Edna leaves her husband's home for her own cottage and begins an affair, only to discover that the constraints of social custom may be more powerful than she thought. Contemporary readers and reviewers were shocked by the frank, unapologetic treatment of adultery in The Awakening . The fact that we have the book at all is the most convincing tribute to its enduring, irrepressible power.
Introduction by Elaine Showalter
(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)
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This story of a woman's struggle with oppressive social structures received much public contempt at its first release; put aside because of initial controversy, the novel gained popularity in the 1960s, some six decades after its first publication, and has since remained a favorite of many readers. Chopin's depiction of a married woman, bound to her family and with no way to assert a fulfilling life of her own, has become a foundation for feminism and a classic account of gender crises in the late Victorian era.
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The past was nothing to her; offered no lesson which she was willing to heed. The future was a mystery which she never attempted to penetrate. The present alone was significant, was hers, to torture her as it was doing then with the biting which her impassioned, newly awakened being demanded.
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