Kate Chopin and The Awakening
The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin was published in 1899. The book is based on the main character Edna Pontellier, a woman living in the 19th century Creole society. The unthinkable aspects of a woman being independent, promiscuous, and intellectual in the 1800’s was revealed in Chopin’s novel, which during the era this piece was published, it was far beyond its time period due to the bluntness and unfathomable context. The character Edna Pontellier and the author Kate Chopin, show similar resemblance to one another, and lived similar lives in some aspects, but most of all, this novel shows the personal connection Chopin had to her literary career.
Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis Missouri on February 8th, 1850 as Kate O’Flaherty. Her parents Eliza and Thomas had five children including Kate, and at a young age her father died. She was raised Catholic and attended The Sacred Heart Academy in St. Louis where she excelled academically. After her father’s passing, Chopin lived with her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother whom were all widows. Because of this living environment, Chopin was brought up with strong independent women who resumed the responsibilities of a man and therefore she lacked a male role model in her life. “This lack would also prevent her from experiencing what was basically a fundamental social concept of her time--the tradition of submission of women to men in all social spheres, but especially that of marriage” (Ker). This missing element helped to shape her views on life and created her found concepts for her writing.
At the age of twenty, Kate married her husband, Oscar Chopin, who was born into a wealthy family that owned a cotton growing business. “He was French catholic in background, as was Kate. By all accounts he adored his wife, admired her independence and intelligence, and "allowed" her unheard of freedom” (Wyatt). During her marriage with Oscar, Kate resumed the responsibilities as a...