“the Awakening” from a Feminist Perspective Essay

1786 Words Dec 7th, 2011 8 Pages
Running Head: “THE AWAKENING” FROM A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE

In Kate Chopin’s novel, “The Awakening”, Edna finds herself in a society where women were socially confined to be mothers and wives. This novel embodies the struggle of women in the society for independence along with the presence of women struggling to live up to the demands that their strict culture has placed upon them. A part of Edna wants to meet the standards of mother and wife that society has set, however her biggest desire is to be a woman free from the oppression of a society that is male dominant. Readers will find that the foundation of “The Awakening” the feminist perspective because of the passion that Edna has for gaining her own identity, and independence,
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Edna reaction of Robert leaving for Mexico shows the readers that she had already distanced herself emotionally from her husband and started an emotional relationship with Robert, “For the first time she recognized the symptoms of infatuation which she had felt incipiently as a child, as a girl in her earliest teens, and later as a young woman” (Chopin, 2005). The distance in Edna’s marriage grew when she came into contact with Alcee. Edna’s relationship with Alcee was first emotional because she became fonder of him the more time they spent together; “They became intimate and friendly by imperceptible degrees, and then by leaps” (Chopin, 2005). However the new relationship with Alcee was not abruptly ended like the relationship with Robert. Edna’s relationship with Alcee then turned physical, “When he leaned forward and kissed her, she clasped his head, holding his lips to hers” (Chopin, 2005). Slowly, throughout the novel readers can see that feminist idea of Edna having the freedom to have control over her body and sexuality. This control that only she possessed to make the decision on furthering her relationship with Alcee brought her great sorrow but it also shows how Edna had grown in obtaining her freedom from oppression. In light of Edna’s newfound freedom to control her body and sexuality, readers can connect two perspectives, Feminist and also Psychoanalytical. The Psychoanalytical Perspective enables readers to see

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