Customer Reviews for

The Awakening

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

AWESOME

A fascinating glimpse into a world that is past -- a world that was on the brink of change. Even if this were not a gripping story in its own right (which, by all means, it is), "The Awakening" would be worth reading simply for this social-historical vision.
This editi...
A fascinating glimpse into a world that is past -- a world that was on the brink of change. Even if this were not a gripping story in its own right (which, by all means, it is), "The Awakening" would be worth reading simply for this social-historical vision.
This edition of The Awakening is a beautifully compiled work. I found it incredibly insightful as I used it for research papers in high school and college. The essays and criticism from Chopin's era are priceless. It was so helpful to have those along with the text, they really gave insight one could not find elsewhere. The Awakening continues to be my favorite book, this my favorite edition. If you are going to write a paper on this book or Chopin there is no other book that will help you more. This was a shocking novel in 1899 but today Pontellier's turmoil and dilemma would be neither unusual nor frightening and perhaps that is why modern man and woman usually succeed in handling these situations in a far better way than Pontellier.

posted by LVB4H8T on October 7, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Not worth your time

I had to read this book for school. I usually like to read but this book was so bad I could barely stand it.

posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2004

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  • Posted March 7, 2010

    Only if necessary

    I wouldn't have read this book without needing to for my class, but I wasn't completely disappointed. As a book that is influential in the women's movement of the early 1900s, it's not the worst. I really like the short stories by Kate Chopin, but the novel just doesn't seem to go anywhere. The awakening that the main character goes through is not as entertaining as it could have been. Also, it was very controversial during the time that it was written because of the affair that the main character has, but for today's standards it's not as shocking and therefore not as interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thank God it was short!

    Dated and very stiff in its writing style. A bore to read although the restlessness of the main character resonated with me.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I read this book in class and I have to say more than anything I didn't like Edna Pontellier. Normally, with a good book I can overlook the fact that the main character isn't that great, but this was not a great book. For the most part nothing happened. When something did happen, you couldn't even tell 'when you read the book, you will know what I mean *wink*wink*'. Edna was being overly dramatic about a situation that was entirely her own fault. The ending was ridiculous and I felt no sympathy. I didn't feel emotionally attached to anybody. This book was no good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    Horrible Book

    The Awakening was a book that was a slow read and was hard to follow. A woman named Edna is married the man named Leonce and begins to realize how limited her freedom is. In the book, Leonce often goes on long business trips and Edna is left alone. When Leonce sends Edna some bonbons while he is on his business trip, Edna¿s friends tell her how wonderful that he is and she unwillingly because of the fear she has of correcting them. This is the first time that we see that she is unhappy in her marriage and it becomes a recurring issue as the book goes on. Throughout the book, Edna talks to her friend Adels about this situation. Edna Edna and Adele begin somewhat the same, but as the book goes on, Edna becomes more independent and Adele tries to stop her from thriving. Adele tries to protect Edna¿s image and reputation and is the static character of the book. During Leonce¿s business trip, Edna becomes more and more involved with a man named Robert. Eventually she cannot take her mind off of him and she cannot go a day without thinking about him. When a woman named Mademoiselle Reisz reminds Robert that it will ruin his reputation if he hooks up with a married woman, he moves to Mexico. During this time, she flirted and had relations with another man named Alcee. When she ¿messed around¿ with him, she felt not like she betrayed her husband but that she betrayed her husband but that she betrayed Robert. She is very indecisive about which man she wants and always claims that Robert is the perfect man for her. The only problem is she cheats on him as often as possible. A romance is usually a book where people find out who they love, but she really never make up her mind. It seemed like each chapter got more and more boring because all she did was talk about how she wanted Robert and then she would cheat on him with Alcee. She did not even take into consideration of what her husband would think she pretty much just left him. She doesn¿t even talk to her husband after she leaves. It seems like he just disappears. All in all, this book was basically about a woman who didn¿t want her husband anymore, and it was very boring. This ending was also quite disappointing. If you like exciting romance novels, this is not the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Although Chopin's story offers a unique perspective into a world

    Although Chopin's story offers a unique perspective into a world too far gone from our own, nothing can save this book from its everlasting lull and its lack of understandable circumstances.  The passing of time has proven that the story of The Awakening is certainly not timeless. For myself, the main character seemed to have more inconsequential behaviors than what might have been accepted at Chopin's time. The few strengths of the book are the fact that there is a plot and that there are descriptive words to follow along. Aside from that, nothing caught much of my interest and few elements seemed entirely important to the progression of the characters.  Although it is a completely subjective matter as to if the plot elements and progression have any resounding effect on the reader, I urge any future readers to contemplate delving into this bland and drawn out soap opera.  
    -Jake L.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    At times I found The Awakening to be an ironic title, considerin

    At times I found The Awakening to be an ironic title, considering it often put me to sleep.  I can understand how at the time this novel was revolutionary in the women's right movement, but to a modern reader Edna seems selfish and careless.  I was shocked reading the final page, unaware of how desperate Edna was.  Overall I thought the writing was beautifully done, but I was not impressed with the plot.  I would not recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    I just finished reading The Awakening, and I did not like it. I

    I just finished reading The Awakening, and I did not like it. It was very boring. I constantly found myself trying to stay awake while reading it. Although the plot isn't very exciting, I can see why it was considered controversial for the time period it was written. The only thing that kept me reading was my growing hate for the main character, Edna. The more I read the more I began to hate her. I couldn't wait to see what awful thing she'd do next. I do not recommend this book unless you want to read about an awful mother and wife who defys her role in society by putting herself first. I did not enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin was a bland novel, with flat charac

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin was a bland novel, with flat characters and an uncompelling storyline. Much of the plot points were predictable, and all of the characters were incredibly one-dimensional, besides Edna herself. The author portrays Edna in such a way that you dislike her incredibly, and her personality makes the book hard to read. The writing in the book was bland and didn't flow very well. Overall I found the book to be slow and uninteresting, and I would not recommend it as a pleasure read to anyone.   

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  • Posted September 10, 2009

    Freedom to Believe J. Fisher

    In The Awakening and The Crucible, one occurring and important theme is freedom. This vital piece to the puzzle in these novels holds everything together.
    The freedom to believe is the basis of our society. If you think about it, whenever something goes wrong in the justice system freedom is always a key component. In the Awakening, Edna Pontellier has a big understanding on the term freedom. In the story, she goes through situations in life where freedom is expressed. For example, she couldn't be tied down to her husband Leonce. He kept assuming she was the motherly lady that stayed home. Edna also experienced the freedom to say and do whatever she pleased and also expressed the freedom to love. She went from guy to guy to guy and never looked back. When something wasn't looking right for her, she contemplated her options and went to the better choice. Her freedom leads the way in the novel, and eventually leads to her suicidal death.
    Reiterating from what I said earlier, freedom is the basis of our society and that's what we hold on to in our everyday lives. Mr. Proctor was in the predicament of a scandal. Luckily, for the defendant Elizabeth, she had the freedom to open her mouth and convict him. Freedom again was taken away and given back to Elizabeth. What John Proctor did was horrible, and the freedom during the trials saved her. All I know is, freedom is salvation here in the U.S. no matter the society or situation.

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  • Posted September 10, 2009

    Loyalty and Deception in Chopin and Wilson by K. O'Dowd

    Kristy O'Dowd
    The Awakening and The Piano Lesson share a common theme of loyalty and deception. In both books, the main characters will to have a different life than they do, but the outcomes are very different.
    In The Awakening, the author, Kate Chopin looks at loyalty from a negative perspective and causes the main character, Edna Pontellier to be disloyal to her husband, Leonce. She wanted to break away from him so she would not be a conformist and did not have to live her life in a certain way. She deceived him by cheating on him with Alceé Arobin and Robert. Although she did not actually sleep with Robert, I believe that the dynamic between the two was greater because she was in love with him even though she was "supposed to" be in love with her husband.
    The book shows her struggle to find herself, but ultimately, she loses herself in a disloyal, undignified mess. I think there is a definite parallel in this book between Edna's swimming and her love life. She is never happy. When she cannot swim, she is discontented, but in the end, swimming is the very thing that ends her life. When she is with her husband, she is unhappy and wants something better. However, when she has an affair with Alceé, she is still not happy or pleased. I think that her swimming symbolized her will to be free and have a mind of her own, but it backfired on her because it literally took her life, whereas her disloyalty and will for freedom took her life figuratively.
    In the other book, The Piano Lesson, the author shows a different twist on loyalty. Beatrice, the main character in this book, shows a die-hard loyalty to her dead mother and father's piano. She will not give it up for anything and does not give in to the temptations of wealth and safety. Boy Willie, her brother tried to deceive her by selling the piano behind her back and reaping half of the benefits for himself.
    Both of these novels represent the passions of loyalty and deception. I also think these themes share a common link with freedom, which is the overall sought after goal.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Novel!

    Overall, the awakening was a great novel. I only began to read it for school, but I got really into it. I had to write a research paper on this book and I came up with some good ideas. I got an A- on the paper. I usually don't do well on english papers, but this book was so easy to get into and form ideas about, that the paper practically wrote itself. I highly recommend this novel.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2005

    The Awakening failed to wake me

    If you are looking for a book with nothing but a woman that thinks she is in love several times because she is naive and lets two different womanizers try to seduce her, then you have found a book that is for you. However, the book starts off very slow and continues that pace throughout the book. I'm sorry to say that for a book that's about a intellectual and sexual awakening, I found that her awakening provided little excitement and that I never even once felt excited or dissapointed for her. Although I have read some of Kate Chopin's works, the feminist writer does not stimulate me in any way. The Romantic plot of a lady that is tired of being tied down to her husband and looks for a free life filled with love of who she choses is a very nice concept. I still however can't get passed the fact that it's hard to pick out a climax in the book because every chapter is equally boring as the last. Romance can be a very powerful thing. In this book though, I look at it more as young woman who is rebelling, and in comes two 18th Century Don Juan's to sweep her off her feet. That might sound exhilerating right now, but be prepared to drink some coffee as you will be needing it many times throughout the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    Not my Favorite, but worth it.

    Basically this book is about a woman on the path of self-discovery. When her husband neglects her she begins to have some self-revelations. Her revelations occur slowly throughout the book. Some take place when she is alone talking with Mademoiselle Reisz, others during her affairs with other men. She has several different emotions about her relationships with these other men. One she just wants to fool around with, but the other is different. His name was Robert and she fell desperately in love with him, but their relationship couldn't work because of her marriage. Then the story ends with her ultimate form of self-discovery. I thought this book was worth reading, but I did not enjoy it. The style of the book seemed to make the book drag. I did not enjoy this book and it was not one of my favorites, but I do think it was worth my time to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2002

    =/

    I jumped into this book expecting the best and as it turns out was a bit let down. I feel it was drug out and offered no concrete explanation of women. I was a bit disappointed. =/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2000

    A Novel That Probably Isn't Good For Guys

    It may be just me but, coming from a guy's point of view, this novel was horrible! The book was too detailed to be interesting. The main character, Edna Pontellier, is so caught up in her sex life and her 'longing for freedom' that she made the book ever so boring. I wouldn't recommend this to a guy. If you do read it, I'm sorry to say, you'll regret it.

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    Posted May 7, 2011

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    Posted November 25, 2009

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    Posted February 23, 2010

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    Posted December 16, 2010

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    Posted April 18, 2014

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