The Awakening by Kate Chopin Book Review

The prose of The Awakening is beautifully written and wonderful quotes abound:
“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”

We witness Edna Pontellier’s awakening from realizing she’s more than just a wife and mother, but an independent woman with her own ideas and desires. It is sight worthy of beholding. Another quote: “I would give up the unessential; I would give up my money, I would give up my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear; it’s only something I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me.”

Spoiler Alert!!! As lovely as Ms. Chopin weaves her words, I felt she left the reader wanting. I loved witnessing Edna’s growth, but I didn’t love her. Edna’s fatalism, which, granted, is the result of the period she lived in, is uninspiring to the modern reader. She was able to give up on all the mesmerizing things she now felt and not fight for them. She accepts her fate and swims to her death and I didn’t shed a tear.

Edna-Pontellier