The Awakening Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

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What are some elements of realism in The Awakening by Kate Chopin?   Especially in Chapters 1-8. Thank you.

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The Awakening is considered an example of literary realism because of its use of local color (already covered in detail by the other answers) and the ordinary, everyday nature of its characters. Chopin's characters are not Dickensian caricatures, great men or women, or melodramatic stock types. Instead, they are nuanced, even restrained, individuals the reader could see existing in the real world.

When the reader is introduced to Mr. Pontellier in the first chapter, he is not presented as a mustache-twirling villain who mistreats his wife. His description as a neat, unexceptional man of forty and his mild manner as he smokes and reads the paper show him as a normal man of the period. The conflict between himself and the protagonist Edna is introduced in a subtle way, with his mild disapproval of her cavorting on the beach and burning her skin. Chopin says he observes "his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage." This is a quick, realistic way...

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