Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Awakening
By Kate Chopin

On the front cover of the book I read, there is a quote by Willa Cather which states; “A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin’s.” I thought that was a clever description. I can’t say that this is my favorite book of all time but I did gain a sense of the characters that Kate Chopin created in the story. Also, her details were interesting enough to keep me reading. Her writing haunted of human nature, whether good or bad, which had literary value and perhaps keeps people reading or studying it and regarding it as a classic.
I really liked Robert. He was a playful, fun and a unique individual. I think if I knew him in real life I would have a hard time figuring out his intentions. His little tease about the spirits being around just because it happened to be the 28th of August made me smile.
Of course, I thought Mrs. Edna Pontellier was selfish. I could sympathize that her struggles in her life came from within. She had a nice life by material standards but she couldn’t handle what was expected of her ordinary life. She desired to be extraordinary, such as being a painter, but it seemed unobtainable to her. I feel she was in pain, depressed and tormented a lot of the time.
There were fleeting moments of joy, like when she was listening to Mademoiselle Reisz as she played the piano. She was fond of music because “Musical strains, well rendered, had a way of evoking pictures in her mind.” I think she loved those daydreams. She had a hard time communicating with others especially her children and Mr. Pontellier. Her troubled marriage, hardships of motherhood and depressed thoughts led to her downfall because she could not be content in the life she was in and was always searching for what she truly desired.
I have to share this quote, regarded as a crazy thought from Mademoiselle Reisz, but I liked it and you do find yourself thinking about it. “Well, for instance, when I left her today, she put her arms around me and felt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were strong, she(Mademoiselle Reisz) said. ‘The bird that would soar above the level of plain tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted and fluttering back to earth.’”
In the end, I do consider this story to be a tragedy.


Rebecca Reid said...

Thank you for this review. I'm the process of reading a number of short stories. I should read this book!

Amanda said...

This is a really good book Rebecca, and it's easy to read. And it looks like, from this review, that of the three reviewers (so far) I'm the one who likes it the most. We actually seem to have quite a spread on our like-levels on this one, that's cool.

Julie said...

Thanks for reading my review, Rebecca. We are all different of the three reviews on this site. I think that's cool too. Be sure to read the other reviews as well.

Amber said...

I've been meaning to read this book for a while now! Thanks for the reminder.

Unknown said...

I'm doing a project On Kate Chopin for school. What age groups do you think this book applies to?

Amanda said...

I would personally say this book is for mothers in general, but maybe if I had to pick an age, early 20s to mid-30s?