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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

p.19 A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her.
p.78 But it's just such seeming trifles that we've got to take seriously; such things count.
p.128-9 She felt as if a mist had been lifted from her eyes, enabling her to look upon and comprehend the significance of life, that monster made...more

I enjoyed this book. I read it in 3 days, over a weekend, and while I rushed the ending, I was engaged by it. What I found so important about this book is that it was written in a style where I felt I understood the main character's inner process. I enjoyed the limited dialogue with an emphasis o...more

This is a short novel, published in 1899. It caused such a scandal that it was banned for decades afterward. The furor over this book was so upsetting to Kate Chopin that she gave up writing altogether.

The story is about Mrs. Edna Pontellier, a Kentucky girl married to Leonce, a New Orleans Creo...more

'Uyanış' belki de okurken çok kızdığım ama bir o kadar da hak verdiğim bir hikaye... Edna'nin yaşadıkları her gün olabilen şeyler ama hayattaki zevk ve mutluluk tartışması o kadar karışık ki... Onun durumu da bu karmaşa içerisinde. Bence okunulmasi gereken bir kitap, muhteşem diyemem ama bir kadı...more

I loved these stories so much. My faves are obviously The Awakening, Desiree's Baby, A Pair of Silk Stockings, and The Kiss.

This is a review of the selected stories. My review of The Awakening is on a different edition.


2019 update:

I actually meant to update my rating for "The Awakening" AGES ago because I ended up using the novella as my main piece of literature in my gigantic English Major Writing Seminar essay and I really found myself enjoying it the more I worked with it and its become my go-to nove...more

The Awakening was good, the short stories were bad.

Yaaaaas, Queen Edna! Do you or die tryin, girl. Hero all the way. This is why one must always live near water.

I just wanted to know what all the fuss was about. The writing sounded so modern, there wasn't any Victorian "olde Engishe" in this book at all. Which even modern writers slip into when they get too wordy trying.

Kate Chopin isn't excessively wordy. She narratives everything semi-removed, sort of...more

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