Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello American Feminism

The Awakening by Kate Chopin has quite an interesting title. A title leaning more towards the supernatural, but turns out being nowhere near. This novel was an easy pick. While reading the synopsis, realization hit that reading about women and self empowerment was something worth reading about.

After completing the novel, I decided to look into it more. This novel was based around female sexuality and equality. Which apparently was just spreading around America back in the 1800s/1900s. This can lead any reader to assume the amount of controversy that used to exist regarding this novel. Hello, FEMINISM. It was a big deal back then and it’s a big deal now. "The feminist movement, just beginning to emerge in other parts of America, was almost entirely absent in the conservative state of Louisiana. In fact, under Louisiana law, a woman was still considered the property of her husband. Chopin’s novel was scorned and ostracized for its open discussion of the emotional and sexual needs of women,” this is quite maddening. It’s rather difficult to actually understand how people can be so shocked to a female being sexually aware and independent. Females have choices too, actions and emotions that’ll be acted on. Hello to history repeating itself.

The newer generations seem to be a bit more at ease with The Awakening, yet the whole concept is still an issue. Yet, maybe readers have realized how realistic the views in the novel are. Everyone read this, analyze it and love it. “Themes of patriarchy, marriage and motherhood, woman’s independence, desire, and sexuality both honestly and artistically,” It’s impossible to deny the importance of these themes, it’s impossible to not acknowledge them, especially in this day and time.

The story between Robert and Edna is so intriguing. The way they spent most of the summer together. It mad sense that the more time they spent together the closer they'd end up. As events unfold, it's obvious that this relationship was something much needed for Edna. Robert walking into her life was a moment of self discovery for her. It's as if all the affection and attention directed her way woke her up. It's the type of event that makes one feel alive, unstoppable.

Readers need to realize that although Edna does indeed love Robert, this new found Edna could exist without him. It was about freedom, belonging to herself and answering to no one. While it was a mess of forbidden love, it all changed who Edna was on many different levels. While the novel has a tragic ending, it was worth the read. It was realistic, life doesn't always end in happiness. 

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