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What is Kate Chopin's The Awakening about?

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littlebritney | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2008 at 4:01 AM via web

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What is Kate Chopin's The Awakening about?

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted November 17, 2008 at 5:39 AM (Answer #1)

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"The Awakening" by Kate Chopin is about Edna Pontellier's personal awakening. She is a married woman who is unhappy with her husband, her children, and where her life is headed. Edna instead likes to paint. She is bored with the inane chatter around her and wants something more in her life. She has an affair, and decides to choose her own freedom. Rather than stay in her present life, she decides to commit suicide by swimming out into the ocean.

The main themes of the story include the social roles of women, and personal and sexual understanding of the self. Edna is a bright, vibrant, sensual woman. Her desertion of the rules of society reveal her independent and daring nature. 

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