Overview

Awakening


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Novella by Kate Chopin, published in 1899.

Edna Pontellier, still in her 20s, is vaguely discontented in her marriage to Leonce Pontellier, a 40-year-old stockbroker of New Orleans, whose main interests are business and bourgeois respectability. While at a vacation resort at Grand Isle, joined only on weekends by her husband, she begins to awaken from the submissiveness he expects of her as she discovers the freer, romantic society of Creoles and also becomes enamored of young Robert Lebrun. After he leaves suddenly for Mexico her life is empty when she returns to the city. She grows more estranged from her husband, turning frenetically to friends from Grand Isle. Upon Robert's return, they admit their love for one another, but when he says “Good-by- because I love you,” she goes to the resort, deserted in off season, and naked swims suicidally far out from the shore, buoyed by “the touch of the sea … sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”

Subjects: Literature.


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Authors

Kate Chopin (1851—1904) American novelist and short-story writer


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