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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • Trace the history of the women's rights movement beginning with the first political convention held in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York and ending with the current decade. By way of a pictonal timeline, relate significant incidents to other historical events of the times.
  • Research the Creole culture. Explain how Creoles have both Spanish and French ancestry and how that ancestry affects their lifestyle. Describe the culture through the customs and traditions honored by Creole descendants as well as through their routines of daily life.
  • Critics consider The Awakening a study in psychological realism. In an essay, address the following questions: How does Chopin use psychological realism to make her characters believable? Do her characters react in ways that you would expect? Explain.
  • Compare and contrast New Orleans' Carondelet Street and New York's Wall Street in 1899. Does Carondelet Street still exist?
  • Consider Léonce Pontellier, Robert Lebrun, and Alcée Arobin—the most prominent male characters in The Awakening. How do you see each man as representative of his culture and the times? What are each man's specific traits? Explain how and why you might relate to each man.
  • The Grand Isle was destroyed by a storm in 1893. Investigate the storm that destroyed it. Develop a series of news items that might have appeared at the time that (a) predict the storm, (b) cover the news as it's happening, and (c) report the results of the storm.