The Awakening Additional Summary

Kate Chopin


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

The Awakening begins with a seemingly insignificant event: Léonce Pontellier is disturbed while trying to read the newspaper. As Chopin reveals, however, this incident reflects the patriarchal structure of most late nineteenth century American marriages in which the entire family’s activities are inordinately structured around the husband’s wishes and moods, no matter how trivial.

The summer resort of Grand Isle is a setting that allows Léonce’s wife, Edna, to confront her dissatisfactions with her marriage. Further, she can explore first her awakened sexuality through the attentions of Robert LeBrun and then the subsequent desires for an alternative lifestyle that this awakening creates. While they are at...

(The entire section is 836 words.)


(Novels for Students)

Grand Isle
The Awakening opens at the summer resort of Grand Isle, a small hotel located fifty miles off of the...

(The entire section is 2092 words.)