REVIEW: The Awakening

A timeless feminist novella
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
Bryanna Pender

Editorial Note: In this new series, students will review books they’ve read either for class or on their own to help share their love of reading. If you would like to review a book for The Sting, please email [email protected]. Plus, I bet if you told your English Teacher, they might consider giving you some extra credit. I know I would. – Mr. Corbett

The Awakening by Kate Chopin follows a woman in the 19th century, Edna Pontellier, who struggles with societal expectations and gender roles. Mrs. Pontellier embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for independence.

There are some fascinating parts of the novella, such as, the beginning mentions a parrot in a cage making noise while Mr. Pontellier attempts to read the newspaper. Throughout the book, the reader realizes the bird is a metaphor for Mrs. Pontellier being held by societal constraints while her husband has free will.

There are also some controversial parts of the book, like when Chopin writes a metaphor of Mrs. Pontellier’s decisions being like a child’s. This comparison appears multiple times throughout the story. It is displayed in such a way that to the reader it may seem as if, since Mrs. Pontellier strives for individuality and independence against the constraints she is held by, she is seen as a child doing something wrong but does not know better.

Overall, The Awakening portrays what life was like for women of that era and the repercussions of breaking the social standards, as Mrs. Pontellier discovers the person she wants to be.

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About the Contributor
Bryanna Pender
I like photography and writing, my favorite color is purple, and I love animals more than people.

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