CliffsNotes on Chopin's The Awakening (Cliffsnotes Literature Guides)

CliffsNotes on Chopin's The Awakening (Cliffsnotes Literature Guides)

Language: English

Pages: 112

ISBN: 0764586521

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also features glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.

In CliffsNotes onThe Awakening you experience one woman’s desire to find and live fully within her true self. Her devotion to that purpose causes friction with her friends and family, and also conflicts with the dominant values of her time.

Summaries and commentaries will help you understand events of the novel, as well as their meaning. You’ll also gain insight into the life and background of the author, Kate Chopin. Other features that help you study include

  • Character analyses of major players
  • A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters
  • Critical essays
  • A review section that tests your knowledge
  • A ResourceCenter full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites

Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.














motivation for his trip. His departure also provides a catalyst for Edna’s realization that she is once again infatuated with an unobtainable man. Yet her past experiences “offered no lesson which she was willing to heed.” Rather than recognizing that she is prone to falling in love with unattainable men now that she is the one who is unattainable, Edna focuses only on the loss of her current source of romance, the person who caters to her desire for imaginative and sensual living. Her

always been to men unavailable for a stolen kiss; her attraction to Léonce, as related in Chapter VII, was based more on “his absolute devotion” to her, which she found quite flattering but did not inflame her with love or lust. Only now, with Arobin’s kiss, does she get to know the results of potent sexual chemistry, again “appealing to the animalism that stirred impatiently within her” (Chapter XXVI). Yet because the appeal of the experience was purely sensual, she regrets that it was not

romantic obsessions lies in feeling them rather than consummating them. How appropriate, then, that her last thoughts return to the subject of her first infatuation, the cavalry officer; she hears how his “spurs ... clanged as he walked across the porch.” Given Edna’s love of sensuality, her choice of the blue Gulf waters as her final resting place, the scene of her final stand, is appropriate. Chopin emphasizes not only how the water’s “touch ... is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft,

summer, Edna is the object of his attentions. As Edna begins the process of identifying her true self, the self that exists apart from the identity she maintains as a wife and mother, Robert unknowingly encourages her by indulging her emerging sensuality. Unexpectedly, Robert and Edna become intensely infatuated with each other by summer’s end. The sudden seriousness of his romantic feelings for her compels him to follow through on his oft-stated intention to go to Mexico to seek his fortune.

She is hurt that he did not seek her out as soon as he returned. Over the next weeks he tries to maintain emotional and physical distance from Edna because she is a married woman, but she ultimately forces the issue by kissing him, and he confesses his love to her. Edna tries to express to Robert that she is utterly indifferent to the social prohibitions that forbid their love; she feels herself to be an independent woman. Before she can explain herself, however, she is called away to attend

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