A Road Map to Awakening: Examining the Function of Supporting Characters in Kate Chopin's "The Awakening"

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Heisner (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Kirk Boyle

Abstract: This paper examines Kate Chopin’s canonical novel, The Awakening, through both a feminist and a Marxist lens. Through these two perspectives, the author focuses on Edna’s path to awakening within the novel, emphasizing her points of regression and progression as a character. When analyzing Edna’s development, it is almost impossible to ignore the influence of the novel’s supporting characters, specifically, Mr. Pontellier, Adele Ratignolle, Mademoiselle Reisz, and Robert Leburn upon her awakening. The author frames the analysis of these characters through the skeleton of the gender binary structure, and specifically examines how the reactionary and progressive characters, though dichotomies of each other, serve similar means within the novel. The author claims that the supporting characters in The Awakening facilitate Edna’s developing sense of self-awareness while they simultaneously prompt her suicide by leaving her with no model to follow as an awakened woman

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
The Awakening, feminism, Marxism, character development

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