In this essay, Masterplots gives many insightful opinions on Kate Chopin's writing elements and her reasons for writing this novel. Masterplots said, "When it was published in 1899, The Awakening was considered vulgar by most critics. The inferior social status of women was firmly entrenched, especially in the South." Masterplots commented on how Chopin faced many hardships and public disapproval when she published this book. She had a lot of courage to publish this book during that time. Masterplots says, "Kate Chopin tell Edna Pontellier's story without comment; the action and dialogue present ambiguities. Various schools of criticism have interpreted The Awakening from diverse views." Masterplots believe that this novel should be considered one of the most outstanding novels of the nineteenth century. Masterplots comments that Edna rejects the bonds that hold her down to search her creativity and sexuality. In this novel, her independence struggle puts a threat to the ideas of the society she wrote about. Masterplots said, "A major emphasis, however, was the consideration of the novel as a work of art, which often involved an examination of patterns of imagery that tie the novel together. One example is how Chopin uses birds to help define Edna's situation." Masterplots believes that the bird in her novel have an inertial part in this novel. They believe that the mockingbird further illustrates her passive role, in which a voice of her own was not expected and the parrot suggests her feeling of being trapped by tradition because she just repeats on what everyone says.
I strongly agree with Masterplots on this topic. I believe that a lot of people where upset by this novel when it was first published. It could have toppled society if no one was ready to accept her ideas at that time. I agree that Kate taking a passive point of view in this novel leads to a great deal of different interpretations. I think that to look at Chopin's novel you have to appreciate the meaningful symbols she uses.
Masterplots. Salem Press: New York, 1996. 27 March 2005.