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The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin (Enriched Classics) Mass Market Paperback – Deluxe Edition, July 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin's."
--Willa Cather --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers and reviewers with its treatment of sex and suicide.  In a departure from literary convention, Kate Chopin failed to condemn her heroine's desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation.  The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class convention are themes of this now-classic novel.  

The book was influenced by French writers ranging from Flaubert to Maupassant, and can be seen as a precursor of the impressionistic, mood-driven novels of Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes.  Variously called "vulgar," "unhealthily introspective," and "morbid," the book was neglected for several decades, not least because it was written by a "regional" woman writer.  This edition also includes selected stories from Kate Chopin's Bayou Folk and A Night in Acadie, and an introduction and notes by Nina Baym. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Enriched Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Enriched Classic edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743487672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743487672
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Jacobs VINE VOICE on April 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stories include: (Wiser Than a god, A Point at Issue!, A Shameful Affair, Miss McEnders, At the 'Cadian Ball, Desiree's baby, Madame Celestin's Divorce, A Lady of Bayou St. John, La Belle Zoraide A Respectable Woman, The Story of an Hour, Regret, The Kiss, Athenaise, A Pair of Silk Stockings, The Storm, Charlie). Some of the short stories seem repetitive, but The Awakening is wonderful, especially considering when it was written and how much Chopin went through as a result of publishing this scandalous tale. She tells the story of a woman realizing her sexuality and the feminist ideas she conveys are far ahead of her time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lyn Bann on June 26, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the start of the novel, Mrs Pontellier is experiencing the awakening of her consciousness: she is beginning to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her. Her husband, a man of forty, regards her as a valuable piece of personal property. And yet she is the sole "object" of his existence. Why does she seem so little interested in things which concern him? Does she not value his conversation? A vague anguish in Mrs Pontellier is a symptom of something dark developing within. Is this unfamiliar feeling the sign of an inner revolt against Fate? What is the force behind the creation and the dispelling of our moods?

As a young woman of twenty-eight, Edna Pontellier finds herself pondering on the nature of female wisdom. Is it about posing as a mother-as-angel in the home or is there something more? Can a new world be created in front of her, different from the one in which she had been living? Can a woman have access to a kind of wisdom belonging to the spirit, that only men had been previously vouchsafed? Edna is learning the pleasure of getting lost in the maze of inner contemplation. She wants to learn whether life has been the result of accident or the decree of Fate.

The moon, the sea water and Chopin seem to cast a mystic spell upon her soul. Exulting with these feelings, she aims to conquer her own self, a feat prohibited to women at the time. The winter after the summer holidays at Grand Isle, and after her "friend" Robert has gone to Mexico, Edna Pontellier has already given certain steps towards the delirium of selfhood she craves for: she will only do as she pleases, and what she pleases the most is art. Is she not growing a little unbalanced mentally? For her, art is ultimately related to the rights of women.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Sibley VINE VOICE on June 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
The author, Kate Chopin, began to write when she was age thirty six. She had a ten year productive career the introduction by Nina Baym discloses. She died at age fifty three. Her work went out of print to be revived in the early 1960's. She wrote two novels and close to one hundred stories following the death of her husband and her mother.
Women, including Kate Chopin, writing after the Civil War turned to regionalism. By 1893 railroads had wrought a tremendous change. Regional writing, as the introduction points out, is tourism of the imagination. The stories are short and skilfully done. Even the use of dialect for the Cajun and Creole speakers is not off-putting. The stories have a wonderful stripped down to the essence quality. One is reminded of Chekhov.
In THE AWAKENING it is noted that the summer colony staying at the Lebrun cottages are almost entirely Creole. An exception is Edna Pontellier. She came from old Presbyterian Kentucky stock. Even as a child Edna tended to live in her own world. She feels a sense a of exaltation when she learns to swim. She has children, a husband, and becomes infatuated with a young friend, Robert Lebrun. Later Robert leaves to go to Mexico. Returning to New Orleans, Edna spends time with the people she has met at Grand Isles. Her husband is caught up in his household furnishings. When she decides to leave to live by herself in a smaller house, he prudently closes their large marital house to avoid gossip. Her absolute disregard for her duties as a wife shocks her husband. Her doctor can find no trace of the morbid condition ascribed to her. Robert Lebrun returns. He shows reserve. Leonce her husband and her children are part of Edna's life. She yields to the water of the gulf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KaylaOh on September 21, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Five stars! This book was wonderfully priced and came within two days! In 'like new' condition. No regrets at all. I will definitely buy again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CSL on January 5, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine being a woman living in the south in the late 1800's. You are married, have two children and very comfortable life style--one might argue your life is near perfect. Overtime you come to realize that your life is not fulfilling. Reading Kate Chopin's short story The Awakening will take the reader through a personal passage in a woman's life when options were very limited. Even more astounding is the story was written and published during the time when the story takes place--scandalous.

The other stories in this book will also give the reader insights into the life and times of people living in New Orleans. They too are engaging.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Miss Sophia on November 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Critics during the 1899 gave Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" bad reviews. They were shock at the novel because of the issues that Chopin wrote about. Chopin was devasted; she died never writing again. "The Awakening" was revived by feminist critics that knew the work was facinating, also beautifully written and compose. Now, high schools and college across America read "The Awakening".
The Awakening is about a woman named Edna Pontellier. Edna is unhappy in her life as a mother and wife. She starts to "awaken" from her conventional role of mother and wife to a woman that desires independence to become an individual. Edna does not love her husband nor she wants to be a mother to her two sons.
Edna falls in love with Robert Leburn; Robert goes away to Mexico because he wants to stay away from Edna. He knows that they both have feelings for each other, and he leaves because Edna's reputation will be destroyed if they have a love affair. After Robert leaves, she purchases a quaint little house on the corner; she decides that she needs space away from her wifely and motherly duties. While Robert is gone, Edna has an affair with womanizer, Alcee Abouron.
Robert comes back from Mexico; Edna is glad to see him and wants to rekindle the love that they discovered before he left. Edna is called by her friend, Adele, because she is having her baby.
Edna discovers that she cannot awaken fully from society conventions and restraints that are placed on her. She realizes if there was a way that Robert and her could be together, eventually, he would stop loving her. She realizes during her time society will not let her be the woman that she wants and needs to be.
"The Awakening" is about a woman that experiences and realizes that her life is complexed. As Edna struggles to find her identity, she has a wall against her, and it is called conventions.
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