The Awakening was written in 1899 and most of the challenges and censorship took place during this period. It was censored for Edna’s refusal to conform to society’s norms, how Edna cheated on her husband and how she dealt with it, suicide.
“The Awakening” by Kate Chopin
The book was criticized as immoral and scandalous. After this novel received such scathing reviews, Chopin never wrote another novel.
The Superintendent of Marion County (FL) Public Schools removed all available books from middle schools. Following her guidelines, she has appointed a committee to review the remaining nine books and determine the educational value of the content for senior high school students.
In 1899, Kate Chopin’s book entitled The Awakening caused controversy because of Edna Pontellier’s highly provocative portrayal during the turn of the century. Chopin portrays the main character, Edna, as a woman who yearns for the right to express herself freely, rather than conforming to the expectations of her society.
The Awakening was never banned but censored (never ordered) in public libraries. It was forgotten until the 1960s.
Big Conflict Once Edna begins her quest for independence and self-realization, she finds herself at odds with society’s expectations and conventions, which require a married woman to submit her own needs to those of her husband and children.
Edna’s passivity in her awakening attests to the naturalistic structure of the novel, making it difficult to call the text feminist. Her ignorance of her awakening to its climax is largely due to her lack of will in transformation, suggesting the authority of natural forces in her journey to self-awareness.
By the late 1890s, Kate Chopin was well known among American readers of fiction. Her early novel At Fault (1890) received little public attention, but The Awakening (1899) was widely condemned. Critics called it morbid, vulgar and uncomfortable.
The Awakening was particularly controversial when it was published in 1899. Although the novel was never technically banned, it was censored.
Widely read today, The Awakening is critically acclaimed as the American version of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1856) and a seminal feminist text.
The Awakening is Kate Chopin’s novel about a married woman searching for greater personal freedom and a more fulfilling life. When it first appeared in 1899, condemned as morbid, vulgar and unpleasant, it is now hailed as one of America’s most important books. From the editors of KateChopin.org.
Chopin mainly uses factual, sober prose to capture life as it is, without ornament.
The opposing group of critics read The Awakening as a naturalistic text. They believe that Edna’s awakening is a descent into madness. Rather than triumphing against society and the men who oppress her, Edna symbolically surrenders to the ocean, returning to the womb and allowing the ocean to possess her.
Literary fiction, tragedy
Let’s put it this way: Edna doesn’t get a happy ending. By the end of the novel, she is either drowning from exhaustion or dying on purpose.
The society in The Awakening is the society of New Orleans and Grand Isle in the late 19th century. Edna, the main character in this book, is a middle to upper class wife in this society. This is the position Kate Chopin took in her own life.
London’s story of a dog living the life of a spoiled pet until he gets a job pulling a sled has been banned in Yugoslavia and Italy because of the author’s socialist views. The book was also burned by the Nazis in 1933.
As such, they pose a threat to freedom of expression and choice.” Typically, books are challenged or banned because they contain profane language, sexual, racially discriminatory or violent content, address political or religious differences, or are not considered age appropriate.
In 1957, the director of Detroit Libraries banned The Wonderful Wizard of Oz because it was “of no value” to today’s children, encouraged “negativism” and made children’s minds “cowardly” make level”.
She also cheats on her husband with Alcee Arobin, symbolizing her descent of purity and innocence as a society woman. Edna’s awakening happens through the water and her learning to swim.
Mother wives are slaves to their husbands and children on the inner sphere, but to society they are angels. Edna is not a mother-woman as she still keeps parts of herself as a self-serving woman away from her duties as a wife and mother. “Even as a child she had lived her own little life entirely within herself.
In The Awakening, Edna Pontellier portrays the unconventional woman and possesses the artist’s rebellious soul. She sacrifices her position as a wife and mother to her children in order to achieve her happiness.
Society accuses Edna of being selfish and unjustifiable in her behavior and actions. Focused only on breaking free from limitations that limit her, she achieves almost anything she desires. Her affair, the treatment of others, and her suicide were completely unreasonable.
A Feminist Perspective
As in “The Story of an Hour” she framed the idea that women are oppressed by unhappy marriages. Through this idea, she expressed that marriages are institutions that impose limitations on women. Husbands held the power and often imposed their will on their wives.