Kate Chopin's The Awakening: A Sourcebook

By Janet Beer; Elizabeth Nolan | Go to book overview

Modern Criticism

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, 'The Awakening in the Context of Experience, Culture and Values of Southern Women', Approaches to Teaching Chopin's The Awakening, Bernard Koloski, ed., New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1988, pp. 34-9

Fox-Genovese frames The Awakening in its historical, geographical and cultural context in order to address what she identifies as the 'disjuncture' between Chopin's intentions in writing and modern feminist readings of the text. Identifying nineteenth-century women's movements as a primarily northern endeavour she reiterates Chopin's lack of interest in any such organised activity or social reform agenda, and points instead to the author's focus on the individual woman. Whilst noting that 'Chopin's explicit discussion of women's sexuality' placed her in direct conflict with the social mores of the day, Fox-Genovese draws a distinction between Edna's assertion of self as a 'private and psychological matter' and the wider public and social considerations, including women's rights, that Chopin's text does not engage. Situating Chopin firmly within a southern context, this article argues for the impossibility of such a separation in northern culture where, for a woman to 'revolt against her sexual suppression was to call into question her gender role'. According to Fox-Genovese, 'there is reason to believe that Chopin intended her explorations of women's sexual self-awareness to pose less of a threat to the social order of her world than explorations of their social independence would have'.

[…] The Awakening shocked Chopin's contemporaries for the same reason that it has earned the admiration of recent generations: it candidly acknowledges women's sexual impulses. Modern readers […] tend to view Edna's awakening to her sexuality as logically portending her struggle for liberation. Yet Chopin remains more ambiguous, thus inviting multiple, even contradictory, readings […]

It would be difficult to argue that Chopin intended The Awakening to be primarily a polemic against marriage as a social institution, or even primarily a

-61-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Kate Chopin's The Awakening: A Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Annotation and Footnotes xv
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Contexts 3
  • Contextual Overview 5
  • Further Reading 12
  • Chronology 13
  • Contemporary Documents 16
  • 2 - Interpretations 51
  • Critical History 53
  • Nineteenth-Century Responses 56
  • Modern Criticism 61
  • 3 - Key Passages 99
  • Introduction 101
  • Key Passages 103
  • 4 - Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 157
  • Index 160
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 165

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.