Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Book Review: The Awakening by Kate Chopin


Title: The Awakening
Author: Kate Chopin
Paperback: 195 pages
Published: 2006 by Elibron Classics
Setting: New Orleans, Louisiana

from Goodreads
When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation.

Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work "quite uninhibited and beautifully written, which anticipates D. H. Lawrence in its treatment of infidelity." Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening.

Alleluialu's Review:

** spoiler alert ** My daughter told me I would like this book. I'm not sure why. Anyway, I didn't particularly like the beginning. It seemed like your basic Victorian family at the beach story, but it got better after the family went back home. I was proud of Mrs. Pontellier when she stood up for herself and started painting again, didn't have tea parties just because her husband wanted her to, and found the little house around the corner. However, I don't understand why she had to (SPOILER ALERT) take her own life. How did that prove anything? Didn't that mean that her husband won after all? Granted she had control over the deed, but she was dead. I don't get it. The story reminded me of "To The Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf, but I just don't get why she had to die. 

I gave this selection 4 notes - A Concerto! I really liked this book. Go Find It! I got mine at my local library. It's a Classic. 

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