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The Awakening

The Awakening

by Kate Chopin

Love Theme

In The Awakening, love is a fantasy. It’s used in jest by the Creole community (Robert Lebrun in particular), and we also know that Edna has a history of infatuations that culminate in a crush on the aforementioned Robert. This time, however, Robert swears it’s real. But after they declare their love for each other, reality sets in. They have different priorities: he wants marriage, she wants freedom. This novel really doesn’t fall for the whole "true love" shtick.

Questions About Love

  1. Does The Awakening have an example of true love? Do Robert and Edna really love each other or are they just clinging to a fantasy? Are the young lovers on Grand Isle and example of true love?
  2. What are the most predominant forms of non-romantic love in The Awakening?
  3. Love and sex are distinguished in The Awakening (so conveniently, too, in the forms of Robert Lebrun and Alcee Arobin). What’s the effect of that distinction? Why don’t love and sex seem to go together in this book?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

True love does not exist in The Awakening.

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