Monday, September 22, 2008

Kate Chopin: The Awakening

i do not know if the woman at the front of the book is kate chopin. or is it the heroine edna pontellier. kate chopin is a writer who wrote short stories in the late 1800s. the same time as our national hero josé rizal.

the first short story is "the awakening", notably her best work. the awakening recounts the tale of madame edna pontellier who just liberates herself from society's traditions. a time when women were considered property, when it was necessary to depend on being married to someone to provide for them, when women were restricted to the home and the kitchen, when women were in all respects functions primarily to provide assurance for the next generations - a baby factory. i am tempted to point out that this is a time that could describe the present as well. how ironic and horrible isn't it? but no, i am referring to the late 1800s.

some points i gathered from the short story - le réveil:

1. french créole society has similarities to pinoy high society as it exists as a microcosm.
2. infidelity was accepted if it does not cause a scandal.
3. the key to freedom is financial independence.
4. people do not own people. we are only in as much as we want ourselves to be.
5. i do not like the ending. i do not see the necessity of commiting suicide at the advent of her liberation from social bonds. maybe i misunderstood it? edna strikes me as someone who is strong but unless kate chopin meant to potray love as something that weakens people, both men and women. then maybe it makes sense.

Rate 4 out of 5 ****
Progressive ideas

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