When they fall in love, Robert senses the doomed nature of such a relationship and flees to Mexico under the guise of pursuing a nameless business venture.
At Grand Isle, Edna eventually forms a connection with Robert Lebrun, a charming, earnest young man who actively seeks Edna's attention and affections. When they fall in love, Robert senses the doomed nature of such a relationship and flees to Mexico under the guise of pursuing a nameless business venture.
The narrative focus moves to Edna's shifting emotions as she reconciles her maternal duties with her desire for social freedom and to be with Robert. When summer vacation ends, the Pontelliers return to New Orleans. Edna gradually reassesses her priorities and takes a more active role in her own happiness.
She starts to isolate herself from New Orleans society and to withdraw from some of the duties traditionally associated with motherhood. Being left home alone for an extended period gives Edna physical and emotional room to breathe and reflect on various aspects of her life.
Edna is shown as a sexual being for the first time in the novel, but the affair proves awkward and emotionally fraught. Edna also reaches out to Mademoiselle Reisz, a gifted pianist whose playing is renowned but who maintains a generally hermetic existence.
Her playing had moved Edna profoundly earlier in the novel, representing what Edna was starting to long for: Reisz is in contact with Robert while he is in Mexico, receiving letters from him regularly. Edna begs Reisz to reveal their contents, which she does, proving to Edna that Robert is thinking about her.
Eventually, Robert returns to New Orleans.
At first aloof and finding excuses not to be near Ednahe eventually confesses his passionate love for her. He admits that the business trip to Mexico was an excuse to escape a relationship that would never work.
When Edna returns home, she finds a note from Robert stating that he has left forever, as he loves her too much to shame her by engaging in a relationship with a married woman.
Edna escapes in an ultimate manner by committing suicide, drowning herself in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
She rebels against conventional expectations and discovers an identity independent from her role as a wife and mother. Despite viewing Reisz as disagreeable, Edna sees her as an inspiration to her own "awakening. Robert's flirting with Edna catalyzes her "awakening", and she sees in him what has been missing in her marriage.
Style[ edit ] Kate Chopin's narrative style in The Awakening can be categorized as naturalism. Chopin's novel bears the hallmarks of French short story writer Guy de Maupassant 's style: This demonstrates Chopin's admiration for Maupassant, yet another example of the enormous influence Maupassant exercised on nineteenth-century literary realism.
However, Chopin's style could more accurately be described as a hybrid that captures contemporary narrative currents and looks forward to various trends in Southern and European literature.
Mixed into Chopin's overarching nineteenth-century realism is an incisive and often humorous skewering of upper-class pretension, reminiscent of direct contemporaries such as Oscar WildeHenry JamesEdith Whartonand George Bernard Shaw.
Also evident in The Awakening is the future of the Southern novel as a distinct genre, not only in setting and subject matter but in narrative style. Chopin's lyrical portrayal of her protagonist's shifting emotions is a narrative technique that Faulkner would expand upon in novels like Absalom, Absalom!
Chopin portrays her experiences of the Creole lifestyle, in which women were under strict rules and limited to the role of wife and mother, which influenced her "local color" fiction and focus on the Creole culture.
By using characters of French descent she was able to get away with publishing these stories, because the characters were viewed as "foreign", without her readers being as shocked as they were when Edna Pontellier, a white Protestant, strays from the expectations of society. Chopin's own life, particularly in terms of having her own sense of identity—aside from men and her children—inspired The Awakening.
Her upbringing also shaped her views, as she lived with her widowed mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, all of whom were intellectual, independent women. After her father was killed on All Saints' Day and her brother died from typhoid on Mardi Gras, Chopin became skeptical of religion, which she presents through Edna, who finds church "suffocating".Chopin's The Awakening and other novels in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were censored due to their perceived immorality, which included sexual impropriety, an argument supported by the initial reviews of the book found in newspapers at the time.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Adele Ratignolle in The Awakening, written by masters of this stuff just for you. Adele Ratignolle plays a huge role in Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening.
Adele is a foil, or opposite, for Edna, the main character. She is wealthy and presented as the perfect woman of the time. Adèle Ratignolle. A foil for Mademoiselle Reisz, Adèle is a devoted wife and mother, the epitome of nineteenth-century womanhood.
Adèle spends her days caring for her children, performing her domestic duties, and ensuring the happiness of her husband. Detailed information on Kate Chopin's The Awakening: characters, setting, questions.
For students, scholars, and readers. Adele Ratignolle is a good friend of Edna, the protagonist in the novel The Awakening. Adele is a Creole living in New Orleans with her husband and several children.