By Aiyana Edmund | On | Comments (0)
The Awakening (1899) by Kate Chopin focuses on the struggle against societal expectations for women in their roles as wives and mothers. The novella follows the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman with unfulfilled sexual desires who questions the sanctity of motherhood. The theme of marital infidelity is approached from the unique perspective of the wife.
Because critics reacted negatively to its taboo subject matter, The Awakening was widely banned, and even fell out of print for several decades before being rediscovered in the 1970s. It’s now considered a classic of feminist fiction.
In her analysis of this novella on this site, Sarah Wyman writes that it “came under immediate attack when published and was banned from bookstores and libraries. The author died virtually forgotten, yet The Awakening has been rediscovered and holds a secure and prominent position as a watershed text in U.S. literature and feminist studies.” Read More→