Fiction Analysis Paper





Fiction Analysis Paper


Kate Chopin’s The Awakening narrates the quest for freedom for one woman and the perils that such an objective initiates. It tracks the life of Edna in the Victorian age by focusing on her household behavior as well as that of other characters in her community thereby exposing differences in actions and opinions about the preferred role of women in the society. While the plot stretches from their current New Orleans neighborhood to the Gulf of Mexico and New York City, it is still laden with the options that a woman faces in attempting to live a romantic lifestyle without the baggage that traditional gender roles assert on her (Pizer 6). Therefore, it tracks her evolution into using unconventional living techniques. Some people believe that it was a purely fictional work but it borrowed heavily from the goings on at the time. The plot launches a scathing attack at the concept of women submission and lays an emphasis on the need for their liberation in all social structures.


The story captures the dilemma that Edna faces in trying to be a good wife and mother to her family while also maintaining a happy lifestyle devoid of stress or unnecessary restrictions. The time she spends with Mademoiselle Reisz is insightful because she realizes that women do not need to follow all the orders of their husbands nor do they have to sacrifice their happiness in the fulfillment of their duties. By reaching this realization, she is castigating the prevailing societal norm of demanding women to abandon their ambitions and devote their lives to taking care of their children and the home. As such, the book is an affront to the conventional mother-woman image and seeks to illustrate that such an arrangement is not feasible in a changing modern environment. Whereas she encounters a perfect example of a dutiful wife and mother in …….., her negative reactions to obeying the customs is a challenge to their usefulness and shows that women do not have to conform to such rituals. In fact, it is an indication that such a culture is oppressive and only meant to control them by reducing them into objects of men’s desires. In particular, she runs into trouble by spending much time away from her home that her husband has to hire a doctor to check her mental status (Recep 414). Such a development is an insult to the lives of women nationally because it means that sanity is measured by their continuous presence in the homes. Accordingly, it provides a glimpse into the retrogressive nature of the society during that era and her refusal to follow such a path is a confirmation of the need for rebellion. It is a clear sign of disillusionment in such a system and is meant to set precedence for greater movement towards a freer community. Furthermore, the inclusion of this analogy shows the extent of male chauvinism as well as the dehumanizing nature of women treatment. Such actions are testaments to the practice of treating women as puppets who needed manipulation and this could only be done by controlling their movements.

Similarly, she is filled with excitement when she falls in love with another man, Roberts. His demeanor is calm and he does not subject her to the rigorous monitoring habits as other men do. She even confides in Ratignolle about her newfound love although the latter warns her about digressing from the norm. Consequently, this scenario reveals the cruelty that women are forced to endure thus displaying the happiness that awaits them when they achieve the freedom to choose their partners as well as romance trajectory. In making this assertion, Chopin paints a rosy picture about marital bliss whereby the power to divorce and marry a partner of one’s choice rather than remain stuck in an unhappy union exists. It was done in reference to the tradition of arranged marriages whereby women were bound to their husbands and had to tolerate their philandering as well as other domestic violations, including abusive relationships for fear of stigmatization. According to the plot, such women had an alternative and it all hinged on fighting for the right to choose their romantic partners thereby gaining control of their lives. It aimed to portray the Victorian era system in bad light and highlight the benefits of launching a freedom movement in order to guarantee contentment in unions rather than the lopsided view of the society’s version (Pizer 11). Likewise, it explored the topic of female sexuality, which was considered taboo or even unorthodox especially because Edna discovered a desire for frequent moments of pleasure. The increase in trysts between her and other lovers is deemed a celebration over her sexual freedom and a conveyor of the urgency to abolish the discussion of such matters since they are integral in the growth and development of women. It was thus a swipe at the conservative nature of her community and the counterproductive nature of the habit since it forced many people to engage in immorality while in secret. Therefore, the author sought to show that the

However, her path to gaining freedom is filled with challenges because her lover keeps evading. For example, he runs away to New York claiming that it is due to business matters only to confess later that he was too smitten and did not want to hurt her. Therefore, she engages in an on and off relationship with him and upon his final disappearance, she commits suicide as an escape from her struggles as well as the constrictive nature of the society. Such developments are reminiscent of the obstacles placed by societal norms to slow women advancement in the fight for their rights. In particular, it mirrors the communal setting present during Chopin’s period that sought to tame women and prevents them from defying traditions. It is aimed at exerting undue pressure on them to abandon their quests regardless of the health implications to them. For instance, Edna’s suicide is seen as a good riddance by men thereby confirming their disdain for her rebellious attitude (Recep 415). However, it is an inspiration to other freedom fighters because it teaches them the need to have convictions and making sacrifices in order to achieve them. Such comparisons reflect the occurrences within Chopin’s surroundings during the Victorian era in which feminist movements were met with resistance. Nevertheless, this story sought to encourage participants to be resolute and unwavering in their search for liberation from male domination in different spheres of life.


The Awakening offers a subtle reminder of the struggles that women endure in a male dominated society. Accordingly, it draws from the experiences in the early Victorian era society to make a compelling case for women empowerment in various social settings. By narrating the benefits and challenges faced by seekers of female liberation, it castigates the practice of women submission and enhances the search for gender equality.




Works Cited

Pizer, Donald. A Note on Kate Chopin’s The Awakening as Naturalistic Fiction. The Southern Literary Journal, 33.2 (2001): 5-13. Print.

The article delves in to the life of the author and provides a historical account of societal norms present then. Pizer elaborates on the societal habits that influenced Chopin’s opinions thereby developing a rationale for her portrayal of the women liberation struggle. Therefore, plenty of examples are given linking the activities in the book to those in reality thus helping the reader to comprehend the issues. Similarly, the text consists of short and concise statements designed to foster understanding while colorful anecdotes about her life are included to make the reading more fascinating. However, the article lays an emphasis on Edna’s search for an identity and uses various analogies to accomplish that mission.

Recep, Mehmet. Kate Chopin’s The awakening in the light of Freud’s Structural Model
of the Psyche. The Journal of International Social Research, 4.19 (2011): 414-418.

Recep focuses on the religious and literary settings of the Victorian era as well as the feminist theories that abound then in this analysis of the story. As such, this article focuses on the controversies elicited by Chopin’s work and offers a deeper assessment of the tale. The use of direct quotes helps to contextualize the discussions while the author examines other people’s perceptions too thereby making the piece informative. Similarly, the language used is a bit advanced although the sources quoted are authoritative in socioeconomic matters thereby enhancing the debate’s quality. It is evident that recap has a biasness towards the struggle for equality although uplifting of statements from the story makes the assertions justifiable. By so doing, the analysis is forthright.

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