The events of Kate Chopin's life strongly influence the feminist traits of Edna Pontilier, the main character in her novel The Awakening. Kate Chopin is known for her literary works that exemplify culture in New Orleans, Louisiana, and of women's struggles for freedom. Pontilier also demonstrates a woman's struggle in the 1800's and their search for a better and more independent future. The lives of Kate Chopin and Edna Pontilier are similar in their feminist views and strong urge for a free and independent life.
Kate Chopin was raised under the influence of strong, independent women who told her to do what she wanted in life and not let anyone get in her way (McMahon). Her grandmother was and independent woman who worked for herself and
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Chopin?s lifestyle influenced her to write about a young Creole woman named Edna Pontilier who, like Chopin, went against societal beliefs. Unlike most women in her close-knit community, Pontilier was and avid reader and enjoyed spending time alone. Both women paid societal prices for their lifestyle choices. Chopin was denied admission to the St. Louis Fine Arts Club and went several years without her works being published or having any public recognition. Many people looked down on her for not following the traditional ways of doing things. Edna Pontilier was looked down on by other women in the Creole community and her husband and children deserted her. The consequences of her actions were so terrible in the time period that it led to her committing suicide to escape the daily embarrassment and torture of life. Along with personal influences, outside stories affected the opinions of many, including Chopin, about women in society. In this time period, many women were beginning to come out of the household to fight for new rights that were previously unheard of. Feminists such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, along with events such as the Seneca Falls Convention, gave women new ideas for the way they live. The nineteenth century is even sometimes called the awakening because many people began to recognize women as more than just housewives and child protectors. Chopin was greatly influenced