Worried about plagiarism? Read this. Help Login Sign Up. Late 19th century customs demanded that woman be defined in relationship to the men in their life - wife, mother, daughter - and not as separate human beings with a defined-self outside their family relationships.
Critical Analysis: Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" Essay
The Awakening: My Critical Essay - Words
The Awakening explores one woman's desire to find and live fully within her true self. Her devotion to that purpose causes friction with her friends and family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of her time. Edna Pontellier's story takes place in s Louisiana, within the upper-class Creole society. They are staying at a pension , a sort of boarding house where each family has their own cottage but eat together in a main dining hall. Also staying at the pension is the Ratignolle family; Madame Ratignolle is a close friend of Edna's, although their philosophies and attitudes toward child rearing differ fundamentally. Madame Ratignolle is the epitome of a "mother-woman," gladly sacrificing a distinct personal identity to devote her entire being to the care of her children, husband, and household.
He is annoyed by a caged parrot loudly repeating its stock phrases, and so leaves the main building of the pension boardinghouse for his own cottage. He soon departs for billiards and socializing at the nearby Klein's hotel. Already Chopin establishes some key symbolism in the novel: Edna is the green-and-yellow parrot telling everyone to "go away, for God's sake. The parrot knows not only French, Spanish, and English phrases but also "a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mockingbird that hung on the other side of the door.
The reader is prepared for this conclusion to the story because the plot line evolves in only one direction, downward. There are also sufficient clues as to the conclusion woven into the experiences Edna faces. Two of these clues lie in the awakening Edna experiences and the rejection she faces because of this.