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A Postmodernist Study, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1129

Essay

The works of different authors are best understood through the contexts and time they are written. Most authors write their works of literature based on their life experiences and their encounters when growing up. Kate Chopin wrote the Awakening to reflect her experiences; however, it received numerous criticisms and was banned based on its context. The Awakening was a great reflection of feminism as she was focused on achieving gender equality. Kate Chopin wrote the Awakening as a realism text, for she was inspired by her experience and growth, which led her to gather a wide readership. Many readers seek to understand the Awakening by assessing the similarities in the novel’s context and how the author focused on defining her experience while growing up and expressing her personality. However, the Awakening was not first published and was banned because it had many negative aspects associated with female sexuality and sensuality. During the publication period of The Awakening, the audience and the society members did not want to address or be involved with the fundamental truths and societal ills that female authors relaid. The Awakening was written in 1800 at a time when she opted to explore the ideas of female independence through the portrayals of the experiences of her female characters. The Awakening is in the context of Kate’s childhood life experience and the encounters she went through in her marriage. Therefore, The Awakening is a better approach for it develops a sense of realism through the presentations of real-life experiences.

Kate Chopin presents the Awakening through the inspiration from the females in her family. The Awakening presents Edna as a character who sought to turn against the patriarchal norms inflicted on women by men. In the 19th century, women were deeply cuffed in the politics of the ownership of their bodies and self-identity. During the period, women did not accept the idea of men having total control over their bodies; hence Kate Chopin was deeply rooted in identifying with the female characters. Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening by identifying that women had the liberty to decline any form of sexual relationships with their spouses and could also deny the idea of being impregnated. Through The Awakening, women are given the space to detach themselves from the wife and motherly roles. The politics of feminism and independence led The Awakening to receive bans and subject Kate Chopin’s work to numerous criticisms by society and other authors. From The Awakening, Kate sought to have women acting independently, free from the societal issues that prevented them from taking part in specific duties due to gender discrimination and inequalities. In The Awakening, women were regarded as inferior society members as portrayed in the character of Edna Pontellier, who Creole left to take care of Etienne and Raoul, their children (Chopin, 50). On the island, Edna meets with Madame Ratignolle, who explains the need to detach from family roles sometimes and live a blissful life away from societal expectations.

The Awakening was written when the society was deeply rooted in barring women from reflecting on issues of sexuality and marital infidelities. When writing The Awakening, Kate Chopin’s work did not reach the publication stage immediately due to the numerous criticism and the banning suggestions. The book was banned with claims that it had been written in morbid, disagreeable, and vulgar language. Kate Chopin’s work was received as a significant threat by men as they were not of the capacity to handle brutal honesty and truth. Moreover, men did not identify with the ability of women seeking to express the need to have gender equality in society.

Banning the publication of Kate Chopin’s work was not ideal, for, through it, gender equality would have been achieved. The art of gender equality would be achieved through portraying the challenges women face in the art of identifying happiness and developing free spirits. The Awakening is a definitive text and should have received positive criticism by ensuring that it received a faster publication to create a voice for women and necessitate the need to have men identify the need to have independent women (Ostman, 7). Banning the publication of Kate Chopin’s work was not ideal. It reflected the rotten chauvinistic society that did not embrace women’s ability to take charge of their sexuality and sensuality such that they could not have control of their bodies. Moreover, banning the book meant that society was deeply rooted in identifying women as mothers and wives and could not participate in other development issues such as employment and education. By banning the publication of The Awakening, women would receive the concept that they did not deserve a better place in society.

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is a significant literary work that should receive massive support through it, and the society would receive liberation. The literary work was a dire reflection that the society needs a facelift in ensuring that women are given a voice to lead and to provide meaningful approaches towards restructuring societal norms by developing the art of demeaning gender stereotypes and ensuring that they create a base that allows women to take control of themselves and determine their thoughts regarding different things (Al-Shalabi, 279). By upholding the publication of The Awakening, the society would receive a shame-free society where women are not cuffed to their past experiences; instead, they would beautifully write about them as they devise ways of restructuring their futures. Therefore, The Awakening should have received tremendous support in its publication to ensure a well-structured and better society.

Kate Chopin’s, The Awakening received significant criticism for her ability to reflect on the rot in a patriarchal society filled with the desire for women to live in the will of the male figures. The Awakening is a literary piece of work written with much transparency, hence the massive criticism from the audience and gatekeepers who explained that the work was written in vulgar language filled with disrespect. Kate Chopin’s work was powerfully manifested in ensuring that women received a voice in the society to speak about their experiences and generate gender equality. The Awakening received for women were not regarded as deserving the act of independence in their lives and their acts. However, the literary work should not have been banned, for the women in the society would receive liberation and be granted the will to perform various things concerning their wishes and not be guarded by the chauvinistic idea. Therefore, The Awakening receives the realism title for it reflects significantly on society’s ills and how the different audiences and critics are not ready to face brutal truths.

Works Cited

Al-Shalabi, Nazmi. “Kate Chopin’s The Awakening: A Postmodernist Study.” Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 6.5 (2015): 276-282.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Penguin Classics, 2018.

Ostman, Heather, ed. Kate Chopin in the twenty-first century: new critical essays. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020.

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