The Awakening: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism Series / Edition 2

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Overview

This revision of a widely adopted critical edition presents the 1969 Seyersted text of Kate Chopin's novel along with critical essays that introduce students to The Awakening from the perspectives of feminism, gender (new essay), new historical, deconstructionist, and reader response criticism. An additional new essay demonstrates how various approaches can be combined. The text and essays are complemented by introductions to The Awakening and to the criticism, a glossary of critical terms, and (for the first time) contextual documents.

An American classic of sexual expression that paved the way for the modern novel, The Awakening is both a remarkable novel in its own right and a startling reminder of how far women in this century have come. The story of a married woman who pursues love outside a stuffy, middle-class marriage, the novel portrays the mind of a woman seeking fulfillment of her essential nature.

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Editorial Reviews

Times
Kate Chopin is a pioneer in the treatment of sexuality in American literature… She does not speak only to women,but she speaks most powerfully about them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312195755
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Series: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 5.79 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri, In 1851. She began writing shortly after her Husband's death and, from 1889 until her own Death, her stories and other miscellaneous Writings appeared in Vogue, Youth's companion, Atlantic Monthly, Century, Saturday Evening Post, and other publications. In addition to The Awakening, Mrs. Chopin published another novel, At Fault, and two collections of short stories and sketches, Bayou Folk and A Night at Acadie. The publication of The Awakening in 1899 occasioned shocked and angry response from reviewers all over the country. The book was taken off the shelves of the St. Louis mercantile library and its author was barred from the fine arts club. Kate Chopin died in 1904.

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Table of Contents

About the Series
About this Volume

PART I. THE AWAKENING: THE COMPLETE TEXT

Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts

The Complete Text [The 1969 Seyersted Edition]

New Cultural Documents
New Two Contemporary Reviews of The Awakening:
From "Recent Novels" (The Nation 69, 3 August 1899, 96)
From "Books of the Week" (Providence Sunday Journal, 4 June 1899, 15)
New Two Principles in Recent American Fiction, James Lane Allen (The Altantic Monthly, October 1897)
New Home Study for Young Ladies: Visiting Cards (from Collier's Cyclopedia of Commercial and Social Information and Treasury of Entertaining Knowledge, 1887)
New The Dressing-Table
New Advertisements from Women's Magazines
Lablanche Face Powder (Ladies Home Journal, August 1899)
Braided Wire Bristles and Forms (Ladies Home Journal, May 1899)
Ferris's Good Sense Corset Waists: When Beauty Reigns (Harper's Magazine, January 1899)
The Whitely Exerciser (Ladies Home Journal, December 1896)
New Fashion Plates from Women's Magazines
Plate No. 7 (Godey's Magazine, January 1897)
Plate No. 6 (Godey's Magazine, March 1897)
Plate No. 7 (Godey's Magazine, August 1897)
New A People Who Live Amid Romance, Ruth McEnery Stuart, (Ladies Home Journal, December 1896)
New The Artist and Marriage (The Atlantic Monthly, January 1899)
New What It Means to Be a Wife, Helen Watterson Moody, (Ladies Home Journal, March 1899)
New The True Meaning of Motherhood,Helen Watterson Moody, (Ladies Home Journal, May 1899)
New What Women Find to Do all Day (Ladies Home Journal, April 1899)
New The Evolution of Woman in the South, Walter Gregory, (Godey's Magazine, October 1897)

PART II. THE AWAKENING: A CASE STUDY IN CONTEMPORARY CRITICISM

A Critical History of The Awakening

Feminist Criticism and The Awakening
What Is Feminist Criticism?
Feminist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography
A Feminist Perspective:
Elaine Showalter, Tradition and the Female Talent: The Awakening as a Solitary Book

Gender Criticism and The Awakening
What Is Gender Criticism?
Gender Criticism: A Selected Bibliography
A Gender Perspective:
New Elizabeth LeBlanc, The Metaphorical Lesbian: Edna Pontellier in The Awakening

New Historicism and The Awakening
What Is New Historicism?
New Historicism: A Selected Bibliography
A New Historicist Perspective:
Margit Stange, Personal Property: Exchange Value and the Female Self in The Awakening

Deconstruction and The Awakening
What Is Deconstruction?
Deconstruction: A Selected Bibliography
A Deconstructionist Perspective:
Patricia S. Yaeger, "A Language Which Nobody Understood": Emancipatory Strategies in The Awakening

Reader-Response and The Awakening
What Is Reader-Response Criticism?
Reader-Response Criticism: A Selected Bibliography
A Reader-Response Perspective:
Paula A. Treichler, The Construction of Ambiguity in The Awakening: A Linguistic Analysis

New Combining Critical Perspectives:
Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Un-utterable Longing: The Discourse of Feminine Sexuality in Kate Chopin's The Awakening

Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms
About the Contributors

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2005

    The ending is the best

    This book was about a woman that clearly did not know what she wanted. She was so confused that it annoyed me. She had a husband that treated her well and two children but decided that wasn't the life for her. Instead she fools around with another man while in love with a different one than that. She is a tease and just couldn't surrender to the conformity of life. I despised this book quite a bit. She clearly had mental problems and should have been institutionalized. The best part about the book is the end when she kills herself and proves that she truly is crazy. I would reccomend this book to no one.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2004

    Definately worth your while

    I read this book once in my high school lit class and parts of the story still resonate within my consciousness. And considering the vile trash I was forced to read in lit class, that's really saying something. 'The Awakening' is a beautiful portrayal of a woman's life in that era, and the fact that this story was banned when it was published serves to illustrate its point even more. It is a passionate and sad tale....I give it only four stars merely because after a decade of having read it, memory may not serve well. However, now that I've finally remembered the name of this book, I'm going to buy it as soon as I finish this review. That should tell you something.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    The Greatest Ending

    This novel was wonderful. It had the best ending of any book I have read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2003

    Not Quite My Cup of Joe

    From a literary standpoint, this novel is a very well written piece of fiction that accurately portrays the restrictions of Victorian standards on the women of the era in which this work is set in. While the piece is masterfully authored, I found the subject material to be superficial and lacking depth. The conclusion of this novel left the reader with a feeling of disappointment. Although this work has some merits to it, I found the majority of the book to be ennui inducing and lackluster. If you're looking for an 'awakening', I suggest you put down the book and head to the nearest Starbuck's for a good cup of Java.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

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