June 2, 2016

Looking Back - The Awakening

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Fiction - Classic
1992 Bantam Classic (First published in 1899)
Finished on April 23, 1996
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threaten to consume her. Originally entitled A Solitary Soul, this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman engaged in self-discovery turns away from convention and society and toward the primal, from convention and society, and toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature and the senses. The Awakening, Kate Chopin's last novel, has been praised by Edmund Wilson as "beautifully written." And Willa Cather described its style as "exquisite," "sensitive," and "iridescent."

This edition of The Awakening also includes a selection of short stories by Kate Chopin.

My Original Notes (1996):

Wonderful! Beautifully written. Reminded me of Edith Wharton's books. Lots of water symbolism. Would enjoy seeing it on film!

My Current Thoughts:

I still own my copy of this book, but after thumbing through it and reading all the passages I highlighted, I doubt I'll read it again. 

On the Sea:
The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplations.

The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.


  1. I read this a long time ago in a class taught at the library on women's literature. It won't surprise you that I didn't like it at all!

    1. Nan, I am not at all surprised that you didn't like this book! :)


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