What might feminist criticism say about "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin?

Expert Answers info

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

calendarEducator since 2016

write6,741 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Feminist criticism would likely examine the social constraints placed on women in the novel and examine the way those constraints affect the lives of characters and the outcome of the novel. For example, Edna knows very well that she is not a "mother-woman," and her husband, Leonce, reminds her often that she does not quite live up his (and Creole society's) expectations of a good wife. He finds her to be inattentive to their children as well as to his own needs. When Edna gains somewhat more independence, even moving out of the home she shares with Leonce and sending the kids to stay with their grandmother, she eventually learns that her options are still quite limited. She wishes to run away with Robert Lebrun and live, unmarried, but he is unwilling to live with someone else's wife; he will only go if Edna will agree to become his own wife. In this way, nineteenth century marriage seems even more like a prison than it did before, as the real love between Edna and Robert is not enough to...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 630 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

huntress eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write373 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial