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The Awakening Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Awakening.
This section contains 792 words
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Critical Overview

Critics condemned The Awakening when it was first published in 1899. They criticized Chopin's frank treatment of such moral issues as extramarital affairs and female sexuality. Good literature simply did not discuss women's emotions. It ignored the fact that women have the same impulses as men. For Edna to admit, even to herself, that she was sexually aroused, was shocking. For her to actually engage in an affair was scandalous.

Critics also denounced Chopin's seeming acceptance of Edna's search for personal freedom. They were appalled at the choices Edna made to acquire her freedom. Women were expected to accept their station in life and to repress any feelings they might have that could be considered non-conformist. Edna not only disliked her role in life, she also blatantly refused to continue it. Readers naturally sided with Léonce when Edna refused to have sex with him. When Edna moved...

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This section contains 792 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Awakening Study Guide
Copyrights
The Awakening from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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