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The Awakening

Average Rating 4
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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Rachel E: If I were to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 10, I w

    Rachel E: If I were to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 5, because it is the definition of mediocre.  I did not hate the book or find it too boring to read, but at no point did I find myself wishing to read more.  I felt that Mrs. Pontellier's suicide made for a perfect ending.  After discovering who she really was and rebelling against society, she could no longer handle the struggle.  I was originally sympathetic towards Mrs. Pontellier and tried imagining how difficult it must have been to belong to your husband and be treated as property.  However, Mrs. Pontellier admits she would not sacrifice herself for her own children, which caused me to view her as a selfish, unfit mother.  Although, Mr. Pontellier believes he owns his wife, I still felt he was a loving husband.  He behaves the way society has bred him too, at the same time still trying to respect his wife's wishes and avoiding upsetting her.  I did not particularly care for the excessive descriptions of the scenery or objects such as the women's evening gowns.  The title The Awakening, fits perfectly for Mrs. Pontellier realizes who she actually is and wakes up to the idea that she is an outsider to society.  Overall, I feel the book was well written and creative, but did not effectively hold the interest of the reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin was an assigned reading book for my

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin was an assigned reading book for my AP English class. Now that I have completed reading it, I find myself hopelessly indifferent on the novel: the plot, the characters, and the themes. While I did sympathize with Edna, I had trouble fully grasping the "awakening" she underwent. All in all, the story depicts a rather charmed life with a main character who has difficultly adjusting to being her husband's property. This story was neither thrilling nor poetic, and as the novel went by, I hoped for a deeper, clearer plot. To me, it all seemed like a "beginning" and there appeared to be no climax until the last three pages or so. That aspect in itself made the read a bit more of a struggle.
    On the more positive side, the characterization throughout the novel was vivid and rich words were used throughout, creating an active and growing vision of life during the 1890s in New Orleans. I believe that this book is a must read, not because I thoroughly enjoyed it, but because the book is very open to interpretation. I found myself drawn to certain characters and events that resonated with my own life, but I am sure others will find different aspects to mine. This classic piece of literature was not my style, however I have gained a great deal of knowledge and perspective through the reading process.
    -Kylie S

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin did not keep me on the edge of my s

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin did not keep me on the edge of my seat. However, the book was not supposed to keep me wondering what would happen next.  The slow-moving tale of a woman's torturous and mundane life focuses on its ideas more than its plot.  IT moves slow because it needs this time to introduce philosophies from its main character, Edna Pontellier.  Personally, Edna's eternal conflict did not grasp my attention as well as I would have liked, but that doesn't mean the novel is not well written.  There were many instances in which I marveled at the sentences Chopin wrote.  Every scene is beautifully described allowing the reader to fully appreciate the setting.  However, one minor problem with her writing was her frequent use of French.  Although it is usually only spoken in passing, there are occasions when important plot points can be missed due to a lack of understanding of the language.  While the book failed to keep me captivated, I did appreciate the work that was clearly put into it.   
    If there had been a 2 1/2 star rating I would have used it.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    It truly takes talent for an author to make a reader hate a char

    It truly takes talent for an author to make a reader hate a character as much as I hated Edna Pontellier. She was a terrible, terrible woman! Challenging the way things are is one thing, but completely abandoning your very few duties in life and your family is unacceptable.  The life path she had was chosen and for that reason, I have zero pity for her. The wording of the story was easy to read and moderately enjoyable. The plot kept you interested in what horrible thing Edna would do next, and which loving and caring person in her life she would offend next.  Readers searching for a novel with a strong female lead that one can agree with should look elsewhere, as that is not the character portrayed by Chopin. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    the awakening

    In The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna journeys through life in search of happiness. The story starts out with Edna in Grand Isle on a vacation with her husband. During her time on Grand Isle, Robert Lebrun always accompanies Edna. She soon realizes how limited freedom and happiness she has. Robert is like a ¿teacher¿ to her because it is him that teaches Edna to be more independent. And she slowly starts to fall in-love with Robert, she soon realizes that her husband means nothing to her. Being on Grand Isle is like a dream to her but all dream must come to an end as Edna goes back home with her husband. As the story progresses Edna starts to become more independent. She moves out of the house into her own house. Up to this point everything she had wasn¿t her own. She ¿belonged¿ to her husband and children. Edna learns to be her own person, doing things for herself and not for others. Ever since she left Grand Isle, she has been longing for Robert but soon realizes that not even he can fully satisfy her. Nothing worldly can ever satisfy her. At the very last chapter of the story, she found something that she¿s been looking for- her freedom. She swims out to the ocean and became free of her family- the chains that bind her to world where she can never be truly happy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    the awakening

    This book focuses on the attitude of a woman, Edna Pontellier,who gradually becomes displeased with how she is living her life. The setting of the book takes place in the 1800's, a time when women were not veiwed as equals and their role in society was to be a wife and mother. While Edna is married, has children, and still follows her duties - it is clear that she is unhappy. Throughout the book we become aware of her want for her own identity and her sexual desires that have not been fulfilled. Not only does she leave her family behind, but has romances with other men in the book. After everything though, Edna realizes that all men view women as a possession, which is the exact thing that she is trying to escape. For eventhough she is a romantic, she refuses to commit anymore. The ending of this novel is my favorite part of the story. It shows Edna's way of expressing her passion to have her own life and to relieve herself from the common woman's responsibilities. The ending is also somewhat confusing. It could be viewed as both a successful conquest and as a response to failure. Either way the book is interpreted, it is great story idea. The only unfavorable part of the novel is the style in which it is written. It makes the book difficult to follow and hard to interpret. I would recommend that you read this book just for the sake of the message behind it. However, if you find it hard to 'read between the lines' and are more interested in straight forward books...this is not for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2005

    Leading on

    this book was recommended to me by a teacher who read it with her AP lit class. her and her students loved it. it's a good book, but very advanced reading and not as appealing as it is made out to be, 'sexually'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2003

    The Awakening

    The book was good but it is not something I would pick on my own to read. I found it hard to get in to the book. I really like the topic of the novel. In a time where women are not thought of highly. Kate Chopin writes about a women breaking out of tradition and questioning. Women, more specificly mother women had one purpose. Although this novel was not popular in Chopins time, it is recognized now. I can see how many people like this book. But like I said I would not read this book on my own, and I am not sure if I would recomend it. But I really enjoyed the topic of the novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2001

    A Real Message for Women

    'The Awakening' is a very interesting book that helps people realize things that happen in marriage; especially, it encourage those who are seeking to get married in the future to think before doing things just for fun or money because a marriage has to have as a complement one of the most important qualities to suceed, love. That is what Edna and Robert did not have. Probably this is so because of the hard reality that women like her had to live at that time in the 1800s when they couldn't express their feelings. What I do not agree with is Edna's attitude toward her children. She was not a good mother, and I think that motherhood is one of the most wonderful things in the world. I suggest to every one who likes to read about reflections in life to read this book because it is very motivating.

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