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The Awakening

Kate Chopin

Book Overview: 

“The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers with its forthright treatment of sex and suicide. Departing from literary convention, Kate Chopin failed to condemn her heroine’s desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation. The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class life are the themes of this now-classic novel.” – As Kay Gibbons points out, Chopin “was writing American realism before most Americans could bear to hear that they were living it.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Why should you know? I never was so exhausted in my life. But it isn't unpleasant. A thousand emotions have swept through me to-night. I don't comprehend half of them. Don't mind what I'm saying; I am just thinking aloud. I wonder if I shall ever be stirred again as Mademoiselle Reisz's playing moved me to-night. I wonder if any night on earth will ever again be like this one. It is like a night in a dream. The people about me are like some uncanny, half-human beings. There must be spirits abroad to-night."

"There are," whispered Robert, "Didn't you know this was the twenty-eighth of August?"

"The twenty-eighth of August?"

"Yes. On the twenty-eighth of August, at the hour of midnight, and if the moon is shining—the moon must be shining—a spirit that has haunted these shores for ages rises up from the Gulf. With its own penetrating vision the spirit seeks some one mortal worthy to hold him company, worthy of being exalted for a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"In breve, Mrs. Pontellier non era una donna-madre. Le donne-madri sembravano prevalere quell’estate a Grand Isle. Era semplice riconoscerle, fluttuavano con le loro grandi ali pronte a proteggere il loro prezioso nido qualora un male, reale o immaginario che fosse, lo minacciasse. Erano donne che i

This collection of Chopin’s short fiction has been languishing on my shelves for years. I had previously read, and not much cared for, one of the short stories featured here and it inhibited me from eagerly returning to the rest of this author’s work. I decided to space out this book’s contents over

"El pájaro que quiere remontarse por encima del nivel ordinario de la tradición y los prejuicios debe tener las alas fuertes."
— Kate Chopin, 'El despertar'

"She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum before."
This short but impassioned novel, first published at the turn of the 19th century, portrays a new way of thinking; a dissension among the women of North America and Europe, which caused excitement and consternation in equal measure.


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