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The Awakening

The Awakening

by Kate Chopin

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage

Edna starts letting her hair down and her Inner Edna out.

While vacationing on Grand Isle with liberal Creoles, Edna realizes that she’s not cut out to be a "mother-woman" who always puts her husband and children first. She begins feeling more and more unfilled in her marriage and in her role as a mother. She turns to art as a way to express herself. She also starts spending a lot of time with a good-looking young man named Robert Lebrun.

Dream Stage

Edna goes to a party and swims successfully for the first time.

Edna has a beautiful, magical night. She attends a party given by Madame Lebrun, swims successfully for the first time, and defies her husband’s orders to go indoors. She’s really starting to loosen up and listen to the Inner Edna.

Frustration Stage

Edna asserts her independence.

Robert goes to Mexico, leaving Edna alone. She goes home to New Orleans with her family, but cannot stop thinking about Robert. She spends a lot of time trying to get information on him, but at the same time begins an affair with Alcee Arobin and moves out of her husband’s house.

Nightmare Stage

Robert says good-bye. On a scrap of paper.

Robert comes home but avoids Edna. Finally, the two declare their love for each other, but realize they want different things. Robert wants marriage while Edna hates the idea of marriage. Edna is called away but asks Robert to wait for her. When she returns, she finds only a note bidding her good-bye.

Destruction of death wish Stage

Edna commits suicide.

Edna lies awake all night, feeling terribly depressed. Soon after, she goes to Grand Isle, walks into the ocean, and drowns.

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