The Awakening

( 214 )

Overview

The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century American South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely ...

See more details below
The Awakening

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$0.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century American South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating mixed reaction from contemporary readers and criticism.

The novel's blend of realistic narrative, incisive social commentary, and psychological complexity makes The Awakening a precursor of American modernist literature; it prefigures the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and echoes the works of contemporaries such as Edith Wharton and Henry James. It can also be considered among the first Southern works in a tradition that would culminate with the modern masterpieces of Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Tennessee Williams.

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.

Read More Show Less

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.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chopin's (1850-1904) The Awakening, whose heroine rejects her husband and children as she indulges in solitude and in an adulterous infatuation, was embraced by the women's movement 70 years after its publication. Although they pale in comparison to the novel, these stories, which comprise Chopin's third and last short-fiction collection, serve to flesh out the Chopin oeuvre and deserve a place on women's studies syllabi. As in The Awakening , the author's social critiques here demythologize women, marriage, religion and family. A women escapes ``the incessant chatter'' of other females at a party and retires to the male domain of the smoking room, where she puffs on hashish and dreams of a love affair torn asunder. The perverse Mrs. Mallard revels in her newfound freedom when informed that her husband is a casualty of a train accident and dies of a heart attack when he shows up alive. Her fiance is wasted by illness and reeks death, and a repulsed Dorothea bolts; elsewhere, a monk is lured by the voice of a woman, a former intimate. And in a twist on the plot of The Awakening , a husband, plagued by suspicions of his late wife's infidelity, casts himself in the river.
From the Publisher
"Shelly Frasier's reading is thick with languor and sensuality as she creates an Edna who feels all but physically present."—-AudioFile
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781502866769
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/17/2014
  • Pages: 116
  • Sales rank: 426,896
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri,In 1851. She began writing shortly after herHusband's death and, from 1889 until her ownDeath, her stories and other miscellaneousWritings appeared in Vogue, Youth's companion,Atlantic Monthly, Century, Saturday EveningPost, 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.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Upon the pleasant veranda of Pere Antoine's cottage, that adjoined the church, a young girl had long been seated, awaiting his return. It was the eve of Easter Sunday, and since early afternoon the priest had been engaged in hearing the confessions of those who wished to make their Easters the following day. The girl did not seem impatient at his delay; on the contrary, it was very restful to her to lie back in the big chair she had found there, and peep through the thick curtain of vines at the people who occasionally passed along the village street.

She was slender, with a frailness that indicated lack of wholesome and plentiful nourishment. A pathetic, uneasy look was in her gray eyes, and even faintly stamped her features, which were fine and delicate. In lieu of a hat, a barege veil covered her light brown and abundant hair. She wore a coarse white cotton 'josie,' and a blue calico skirt that only half concealed her tattered shoes.

As she sat there, she held carefully in her lap a parcel of eggs securely fastened in a red bandana handkerchief.

Twice already a handsome, stalwart young man in quest of the priest had entered the yard, and penetrated to where she sat. At first they had exchanged the uncompromising 'howdy' of strangers, and nothing more. The second time, finding the priest still absent, he hesitated to go at once. Instead, he stood upon the step, and narrowing his brown eyes, gazed beyond the river, off towards the west, where a murky streak of mist was spreading across the sun.

'It look like mo' rain,' he remarked, slowly and carelessly.

'We done had 'bout 'nough,' she replied, in much the same tone.

'It's no chance tothin out the cotton,' he went on.

'An' the Bon-Dieu,' she resumed, 'it's on'y to-day you can cross him on foot.'

'You live yonda on the Bon-Dieu, donc?' he asked, looking at her for the first time since he had spoken.

'Yas, by Nid Hibout, monsieur.'

Instinctive courtesy held him from questioning her further. But he seated himself on the step, evidently determined to wait there for the priest. He said no more, but sat scanning critically the steps, the porch, and pillar beside him, from which he occasionally tore away little pieces of detached wood, where it was beginning to rot at its base.

A click at the side gate that communicated with the churchyard soon announced Pere Antoine's return. He came hurriedly across the garden-path, between the tall, lusty rosebushes that lined either side of it, which were now fragrant with blossoms. His long, flapping cassock added something of height to his undersized, middle-aged figure, as did the skullcap which rested securely back on his head. He saw only the young man at first, who rose at his approach.

'Well, Azenor,' he called cheerily in French, extending his hand. 'How is this? I expected you all the week.'

'Yes, monsieur; but I knew well what you wanted with me, and I was finishing the doors for Gros-Leon's new house' saying which, he drew back, and indicated by a motion and look that some one was present who had a prior claim upon Pere Antoine's attention.

'Ah, Lalie!' the priest exclaimed, when he had mounted to the porch, and saw her there behind the vines. 'Have you been waiting here since you confessed? Surely an hour ago!'

'Yes, monsieur.'

'You should rather have made some visits in the village, child.'

'I am not acquainted with any one in the village,' she returned.

The priest, as he spoke, had drawn a chair, and seated himself beside her, with his hands comfortably clasping his knees. He wanted to know how things were out on the bayou.

'And how is the grandmother?' he asked. 'As cross and crabbed as ever? And with that'—he added reflectively—'good for ten years yet! I said only yesterday to Butrand—you know Butrand, he works on Le Blot's Bon-Dieu place—'And that Madame Zidore: how is it with her, Butrand? I believe God has forgotten her here on earth.''It isn't that, your reverence,' said Butrand, 'but it's neither God nor the Devil that wants her!'' And Pere Antoine laughed with a jovial frankness that took all sting of ill-nature from his very pointed remarks.

Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter 1

A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over:

"Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!"

He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mockingbird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty notes out upon the breeze with maddening persistence.

Mr. Pontellier, unable to read his newspaper with any degree of comfort, arose with an expression and an exclamation of disgust. He walked down the gallery and across the narrow "bridges" which connected the Lebrun cottages one with the other. He had been seated before the door of the main house. The parrot and the mockingbird were the property of Madame Lebrun, and they had the right to make all the noise they wished. Mr. Pontellier had the privilege of quitting their society when they ceased to be entertaining.

He stopped before the door of his own cottage, which was the fourth one from the main building and next to the last. Seating himself in a wicker rocker which was there, he once more applied himself to the task of reading the newspaper. The day was Sunday, the paper was a day old. The Sunday papers had not yet reached Grand Isle. He was already acquainted with the market reports, and he glanced restlessly over the editorials and bits of news which he had not had time to read before quitting New Orleans the day before.

Mr. Pontellier wore eye-glasses. He was a man of forty, of medium height and rather slender build; he stooped a little. His hair was brown and straight, parted on one side. His beard was neatly and closely trimmed.

Once in a while he withdrew his gorch, facing each other, each leaning against a supporting post.

"What folly! to bathe at such an hour in such heat!" exclaimed Mr. Pontellier. He himself had taken a plunge at daylight. That was why the morning seemed long to him.

"You are burnt beyond recognition," he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage. She held up her hands, strong, shapely hands, and surveyed them critically, drawing up her lawn' sleeves above the wrists. Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach. She silently reached out to him, and he, understanding, took the rings from his vest pocket and dropped them into her open palm. She slipped them upon her fingers; then clasping her knees, she looked across at Robert and began to laugh. The rings sparkled upon her fingers. He sent back an answering smile.

"What is it?" asked Pontellier, looking lazily and amused from one to the other. It was some utter nonsense; some adventure out there in the water, and they both tried to relate it at once. It did not seem half so amusing when told. They realized this, and so did Mr. Pontellier. He yawned and stretched himself. Then he got up, saying he had half a mind to go over to Klein's hotel and play a game of billiards.

"Come go along, Lebrun," he proposed to Robert. But Robert admitted quite frankly that he preferred to stay where he was and talk to Mrs. Pontellier.

"Well, send him about his business when he bores you, Edna," instructed her husband as he prepared to leave.

"Here, take the umbrella," she exclaimed, holding it out to him. He accepted the sunshade, and lifting it over his head de scended the steps and walked away.

"Coming back to dinner?" his wife called after him. He halted a moment and shrugged his shoulders. He felt in his vest pocket; there was a ten-dollar bill there. He did not know; perhaps he would return for the early dinner and perhaps he would not. It all depended upon the company which he found over at Klein's and the size of "the game." He did not say this, but she understood it, and laughed, nodding good-by to him.

Both children wanted to follow their father when they saw him starting out. He kissed them and promised to bring them back bonbons and peanuts.

Copyright © 1998 by Simon & Schuster

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 214 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(88)

4 Star

(63)

3 Star

(28)

2 Star

(25)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 214 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2004

    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.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Boring

    This book is very slow and boring .

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2004

    an awful book

    i read a lot and i love to read but i had to read this book for mah AP english class and i literally had to force myself to read it. it is such a slow moving boring book.i wouldnt recommend it to anyone, in fact i recommend that you dont read it and spare yourself the pain.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    Good Turn of the Century Novel, but a Slow Read

    The book is about a woman trying to find herself while bound by the constraints of society. Throughout the book she falls asleep and reawakens to realize something new about herself. I believe that the story of the book is very strong, but where it lacks is in the writing itself. I found the writing to be drawn out, and too wordy. Chopin was a turn of the century writer, and many of these writers used such a style. I believe Chopins other works such as her short story Deseree's Baby, were a little more exciting and were a bit easier to read because they were in short story form. The story of The Awakening could make a very good short story, but the novel form drags the story too much.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    A book showcasing the peril inherent in one's pursuit of self-reinvention

    A broad-brush, sociological analysis of the book reveals that it¿s a story that features an `individual-versus-society¿ theme, raising the usual thought-provoking questions: Can individuals flaunt with impunity the unwritten laws of society? Can they break out of the mold in which society has cast them? Or do they, for all their valiant efforts, end up affirming the truth of the Japanese proverb: `The nail that sticks out will be hammered down¿? Here, you have Edna Pontellier, a married Creole woman of the late 19th century who, by a confluence of circumstances, realizes that she¿s been straitjacketed by conventions all her life and thereafter resolves ¿ without much thought of the consequences ¿ to free herself from the chokehold of a bland existence and give full form and substance to her intellectual, artistic, emotional, and sexual proclivities. She thus takes a series of bold, reckless steps in this direction, and not even the sweet joys of parenthood or the discreet interventions of friends like Adele Ratignolle and Dr. Mandelet can hold her back. Indeed, she finds herself incurably captivated by the prospect of attaining full independence (and by implication, gaining unqualified affirmation of her individuality) she¿s drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Not surprisingly, however, her precipitate transformation heightens her sense of isolation even as it gives her a sense of empowerment. The more she becomes more of herself, the more her sense of attachment to others unravels. Unfortunately for her, the trade-off between independence and isolation takes on the character of a Faustian bargain, and consequently, her situation becomes increasingly unbearable. Things come to a head when Robert Lebrun, for whom she has felt the stirrings of passion, eventually, reluctantly, reveals his affection for her but proves unable ¿ or unwilling? ¿ to act on it. Unlike her, he is still pretty much a product of the society in which he has been bred. He can¿t ¿ or won¿t? ¿ bring himself to defy communal expectations by having an illicit affair with her no matter how much he loves her, no matter how much she wants it. And this turn of events proves to be the proverbial last straw, predisposing her to kill herself. In view of the ending, how then should one interpret the story? Is this a resounding triumph of society over a defiant individual? Or is this a tragic yet heroic struggle of a defiant individual? It¿s all a matter of perspective, I reckon. Those who regard Edna Pontellier¿s transformation as a mutation will say it¿s about the dire, social consequence of individual maladjustment, of an individual¿s misguided desire to defy social conventions in pursuit of self-reinvention. On the other hand, those who regard it as a metamorphosis (yours truly included) will say it¿s about the provocative assertion of individuality in the face of overwhelming social constraints it¿s about an individual who has tired of playing by the stipulated rules of the game, as it were, and dares to quit for good ¿ and does so to good effect.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2000

    What a sad demoralizing book

    I found the book sad. The message of this book seems to be if you find that your life as taken you someplace you don't like - just give up. Not the message I want my daughters to get.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Recommended

    As a feminist I find it more than a little depressing that this book was so influential within the movement. Though I can sympathize with the protagonist's plight, I cannot sympathize with her. She's not terribly nice, and it's not clear that it's her circumstances that make her that way; she just seems like an incorrigible person (I could explain this further, but I'd have to give away the ending, and I don't think that's not allowed). It's no wonder she's so unhappy.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    Kate Chopin's The Awakening was published on April 22, 1899 by Herbert S. Stone & Company in Chicago. Chopin wrote the feminist novel in the time period when husbands had expectations that the wife must accomplish. Caring for the kids and keeping the house intact were just a few expectations among others. Chopin writes from the perspective of a trapped woman who frees herself from the ropes her husband has tied. With much detail, Chopin describes every step taken by the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, as she advances and quickly becomes the woman she has dreamt to be. Her transition from obedient wife to independent soul takes Mrs. Pontellier through an unforgettable journey. The adventure, which Mrs. Pontellier embarks on, introduces her to liberation and independence.
    The Awakening would best fit readers who are willing to dig deeper into the novel. Readers should be willing to extract her action in order to completely understand her reasons. I would recommend this novel to high school students with moderate experience in challenging books. The pacing in this difficult novel is slow. The author wrote this story in a short time frame in order to give specific detail on her experiences with liberty. The protagonist developed her character early in the novel. As the novel began, readers could see signs of a woman taking the first steps of rebellion. Towards the end, it was evident that Mrs. Pontellier had completely transformed from a trapped soul to soaring dove, living her life to the fullest. She threw a party at her house while her husband was away to show her independence as a new woman.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2001

    This Is BORING

    The book was to Descriptive in the first place. There Was barly anything that happened. IT's a whold describing book.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2013

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin It was during 1899 that this book w

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    It was during 1899 that this book was published. Its key character was a lady, Edna, who had many sexual desires and ended up basically condemning herself. She goes through many things in life that woman would never wish to have happen to them. She basically lived for the sake of others but eventually found inner strength through self-image. During the time this book was written, woman were not exactly favored in society. Woman had barely any rights, and were normally left by their husbands for other woman. The major theme in this book is to have happiness. She let peer pressure get to her and that ended up keeping her from being free and happy. She spent her time searching for a life that was not exactly right for her, and her living in a creole society was no good match for her trying to improve her life. Self image was a key to this book as well. If it weren’t for how well she thought of herself and sold herself to men, her life would have been a lot different. What I liked about this book was the amount of description the book gave about characters, settings, and the plot. It gave very vivid descriptions as if I were in her shoes. What I did not like about the book was that it did not give a clear ending. Yes, it did give an ending to her and what happened to her, but it never gave reasons for what and why she did what she did at the end. I feel the author could have added more of an ending of all the characters or might have even ended the book in a different way. This book has a tendency to get kind of boring, but events happen and it becomes interesting again. Someone should read this book because it teaches many life lessons that you might not otherwise get from just living in our own bubbles. It gives real life examples of how choices woman make can lead to problems that can impact our entire lives without even realizing it until it is too late. Other recommended works are: At Fault by Kate Chopin is about a lady who is widowed at 32 and how she is left to basically start life over at her plantation in Louisiana and all the obstacles she faces. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Banned Book Worth Reading

    I read The Awakening to celebrate Banned Books Week 2010, after I found it on a list of frequently challenged books. It's a wonderful book, but only if you are prepared to appreciate it for what it is: an early feminist novel and a classic. Don't pick this book up if you're looking for a love story! The Awakening is about a Victorian woman who realizes how trapped she is, and not really about sex or love, though that is what makes her realize it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Awakens the Mind

    While the book can be a tad slow on some of the parts, the book is still great to read on how some women in the 19th century would feel about their lives. And you can be sure of the authenticity since Kate Chopin was one herself. Edna was a good character through her desperation of wanting to be free but feeling stuck in the world of what women should do The book was definitely a good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 214 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)