The Awakening Summary
This novel is all about finding yourself, which hopefully you can accomplish before you find yourself smack dab in the middle of an ocean without a paddle. Or a boat, for that matter.
|19th-Century Literature||19th-Century American Literature|
|American Literature||19th-Century American Literature|
All American Literature
|Author||Chopin - Kate Chopin|
|Themes||Art and Culture|
Life, Consciousness, and Existence
Respect and Reputation
Society and Class
Women and Femininity
Madame Reisz <Rice>, and that hunky Robert. I know, I'm married, but a girl can dream,
can't she? Robert and I went for lots of long, platonic
walks on the beach. And long swims, too. I swam a little too far one night, it was touch
and go for a minute there…
…but I made it back. Thank goodness. I was so wired that I defied my bossy husband by
staying up past bedtime.
I think he was worried that this would send me down a path of vice and crime. …
It didn't…at least, not the crime part. But I was changing into a new, improved version
of myself. Now I was “Take Charge Edna,” …
… a sassy gal who marched to the beat of her own drummer. …
In another dramatic development, I was really starting to crush on Robert. Unfortunately,
I didn't realize this until he decided to leave for Mexico. ..
Even worse, vacation was over and I had to go home. …
But once I got back, I wasn't really interested in being the perfect wife anymore. So I stopped
trying, and started… painting. My husband was a bit upset about my new life direction.
Rebellion was liberating, but something was still missing. I decided that I had to get
my own place, with my own money.
So I got a little house where I could be independent and artistic, and… maybe hook up every now
and then. Mademoiselle Reisz really wanted me to become
“the hero of my own life,” as Dickens would put it, and she showed me letters from
Robert, saying that he loved me.
I was at a bit of a crossroads in my life, but Take Charge Edna knew exactly which way
While I was expanding my mental horizons, I had a fling with the local heartbreaker,
Alcée Arobin <All-SAY Air-oh-BAN>. I didn't love him the way I loved Robert, but in my
defense… he was really cute.
I was pretty sure that I should hate myself for moving out and cheating on my husband...but
I had a hard time seeing all this happiness as a bad thing.
Stuff got weird when I heard that Robert was coming back from Mexico. Imagine my surprise
when I ran into him at Mademoiselle Reisz’ house.
That deadbeat had been in town for almost two days, and his fingers must have been broken,
because I didn’t get a letter or a phone call!
Also, he had a little pouch that he got from some hussy in Mexico. Not that I was jealous
And if you think that situation was awkward, Alcée then showed up, and Robert vamoosed.
I sent Alcée away, too…I just wasn’t in the mood for love anymore. I’m so fickle.
It was another few days before I ran into Robert again, and things went a little better
this time. I took him back to my new house for smoochies, and we took the next relationship
step! The L-word!
Naturally, this was when I heard that my friend Adele was in labor, and I had to go be her
birth coach. It was kind of well-timed, though, because Robert was getting all moony-eyed
about marriage. Just when I was starting to enjoy life as an eligible bachelorette.
I made Robert promise to stay right where he was, but when I got back from Adele’s,
he was gone. He only left a note, saying, “Goodbye, because I love you.” Come on,
Rob, lighten up…not every woman needs a ring on it!
I was in a pretty dark emotional place after that. …
I went back to our vacation spot at Grand Isle, but that was even more depressing. I
thought maybe a nice skinny dip would cheer me up. It was kind of a bust, though, because
I ended up drowning.
Do yourself a favor…if you ever have a mid-life crisis, just buy