65 Installments—Entirely free
Born in St. Louis to a comfortable family, Kate Chopin (1851-1904) grew up a voracious reader. After her education, she was married at the early age of twenty. By age twenty-eight, she had borne six children. Although Chopin and her husband settled in New Orleans originally, strained finances forced their family to relocate to rural Louisiana. Here, Chopin began to make observations into human nature and society that would fuel the striking characters and settings of her later writings. Chopin's husband died suddenly, and she moved her family back to St. Louis, where she was further shattered by the subsequent death of her mother. When her family doctor suggested writing as a way to draw herself out of depression, Chopin found her calling. She enjoyed success through stories published in literary magazines, but when her novel The Awakening debuted, she found that she had pushed the boundaries of convention and propriety too far for the American public. Chopin's striking depiction of a married woman who forsakes her husband, children, and home for the love of another man was simply too much for contemporary readers. Chopin, crushed by this negative response, retreated from the spotlight. Though her works were not published for many years following her death, they are now considered to be valuable and provocative expressions of the unvoiced passions, thoughts, and ambitions of women constrained by the rules of an earlier age.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over:
"Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!"
He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mocking-bird that hung on the other side of ...
Reviewed by chkole on May 16, 2011
Lovely immersion in a time and place long since lost.
This is a leisurely description of upper middle class life in New Orleans in terms of a young married woman with its conventions and restrictions. As she becomes aware of herself and her sexuality she suffers from mood swings and a progressive sense of alienation that culminates in a suicide which is almost accidental.
I gather that the book for its time was unacceptable and that in my opinion explains the suicide better then then the story itself.
Reviewed by Damaris1007 on Jun 3, 2010
An interesting read about a group of totally self-absorbed, rather boring people.
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Ratings for 'The Awakening' by Chopin, Kate