What are two chapters in Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor that relate to Kate Chopin's The Awakening? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Foster would point to the idea of "It's More Than Just Rain or Snow" as being a large part of Chopin's work.  In this case, the use of water becomes significant. Edna's sense of happiness in the water at Grand Isle is more than merely a part of her character.  It is something that drives her, animates her, and gives her a sense of peace in a world that is shown to give her little else.  Foster would also suggest that this significance is evident in Edna's drowning, relating to "one of our deepest fears."  In that, there is significance in that her love is what ends up causing her death.  Along with this chapter, I would examine Foster's analysis of "Nice to Eat With You."  Foster points out that the idea of a dinner or a meal represents communion, a sense of harmony with other characters and self.  Conversely, Foster suggests that a failed meal "carries negative connotations."  This is seen in Chopin's work when Edna's dinner party fails when she is unable to deal with Victor's singing of the song that reminds her of Robert.  Her hopes of being the perfect hostess in order to conceal the pain and hurt inside her is denied in the failed dinner.  This helps to evoke her condition as one that cannot be supplanted, an emptiness that defines her sense of being in the world.  In both of these instances, concepts out of Foster's work are illuminated.

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