The Awakening

By Kate Chopin
Read by Grace Conlin

4.85 Hours 12/01/1994 unabridged
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First published in 1899, this revolutionary novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman’s emancipation. Rooted in the romantic tradition of Melville and Dickinson, it is the story of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier, a surprisingly modern woman trapped in a dehumanizing marriage and in search of self-discovery. Turning away from convention and society toward her primal instincts for passion and freedom, Edna abandons her family to realize herself as an individual. But her quest leads to her destruction by a society that grants no place for those unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast, The Awakening is one of the most important novels written by an American woman in the nineteenth century and a landmark work of early feminism.

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Summary

Summary

A Wall Street Journal Pick of 5 Novels on the Status of Women

First published in 1899, this revolutionary novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman’s emancipation. Rooted in the romantic tradition of Melville and Dickinson, it is the story of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier, a surprisingly modern woman trapped in a dehumanizing marriage and in search of self-discovery. Turning away from convention and society toward her primal instincts for passion and freedom, Edna abandons her family to realize herself as an individual. But her quest leads to her destruction by a society that grants no place for those unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood.

Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast, The Awakening is one of the most important novels written by an American woman in the nineteenth century and a landmark work of early feminism.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Exquisite and sensitive…iridescent.” Willa Cather 
“Beautifully written.” Edmund Wilson
“Kate Chopin was long before her time in dealing with sexual passion…and the personal emotions of women.” New York Review of Books
“Interesting and timely…Chopin’s oracular feminism and prophetic psychology almost outweigh her estimable literary talents.” Newsweek
“Chopin shares the boldness in technical experiment and moral relativism of her contemporaries in the 1890s…a writer of considerable sensibility and talent…in her stories she worked for breadth. In height, however, and depth, it is The Awakening that will serve as her passport into our time and posterity.” Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Her story is a tragedy and one of many clarion calls in its day to examine the institution of marriage and woman’s opportunities in an oppressive world.” 500 Great Books for Women
“[A] poignant spiritual tragedy.” Dial

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin (1851–1901) was born Katherine O’Flaherty in St. Louis in 1851. She was a popular social belle, admired for her wit and beauty. In 1871 she married Oscar Chopin and lived in Louisiana until his sudden death in 1882. Chopin began writing about the Creole and Cajun people in the South, gaining acclaim for her finely crafted short stories. Upon publication in 1899, her now-classic novel The Awakening was widely condemned for its controversial themes, and Chopin was devastated by its harsh critical reception. She died in 1904, denied in her lifetime the recognition she desperately wanted and richly deserved.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 4.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English