The Awakening

Marxism in The Awakening 11th Grade

When some audiences read The Awakening by Kate Chopin, they perceive a feminist piece ahead of its time, or search for hidden metaphors and allusions. Some readers would be content to simply ponder the significance of the title. However, although each of those matters is present and pertinent in the novel, they are merely subtexts under the true focus of the book: Marxism. The Awakening centers on the main character's digressions from societal norms, provides a narrow focus on social classes in the late 19th century United States, and provides thorough commentary on bourgeoisie values and their place in society.

The book opens with its main character, Edna Pontellier, basking in the wealth and status provided to her by her husband, Léonce, who is a successful businessman in New Orleans. Similarly, she bathes in the warmth of the sun at the island resort where she and her children spend their summer. While an extreme societal requirement and reverence of marriage is uncommon in today's society, matrimony was a vital and central part of life in the 19th century. Thus, it it is unexpected for Edna to consider her husband, “a person whom she had married without love as an excuse” (Chopin 77). Her profligate and rebellious manner...

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