The study of feminism in Kate Chopin's "The Awakening"

Widen, . (1996) The study of feminism in Kate Chopin's "The Awakening". Undergraduate thesis, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya.


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Reading literary work is one of the ways people may spend their leisure time. It is not just a mean of relaxation but it can be more than broaden our mind and knowledge as well as sharpen our insight and sensibility. The Awakening is a feminist novel written by Kate Chopin. There are some questions that are used to guide this study of the feminism thoughts in Edna's life with supporting approach on some findings over the phenomena behind and the relationships with others that affect Edna's way of thinking. Moreover, the analysis are done further to symbolism and imageries as they represent bondage and freedom that Edna has to face. All the analysis are based on some literary theories. They are general theories of characters stated by Graham Little and some feminist critics. These theories are used along with the methodology of phenomenology to have an approach to the main character and to get the clear figure about the main character himself through analysing the events happened in the surrounding. To examine the main character straightly, the practical and formalistic approach are applied here. By using these theories and methods of approach, the thesis writer is able to analyze the changing process of a young woman from an obedient and passive housewife to a rebellious one. It may happen to Edna’s life, the young housewife, on account of outer and inner factors. The main factor brought up is the phenomenological self-realization in Edna's marriage. Edna's points of view to her marriage, husband and two sons have changed since Edna can see herself as an individual, not as a property of her husband and a slave of her two sons. She knows that she actually deserves to have her rights to see the world outside and get to know better about her meaningful life. Another factor comes up, as the result of the self-realization process, is that Edna intends to put herself clear to her Creole society. She finds her true love in the relationship with Robert Lebrun and she feels the awakening of her erotic life in being with Alcee Aerobin. She is capable of proving herself different from the others. She is no longer following the way of living in conventional code. She does not adore her husband and worship her children in such a way the Creole women do. Through this self-actualization, Edna is observed to be able to reach her dream of an independence and a freedom: the independence of supporting her life by her own and the freedom of improving her life as an individual. Further, the interpretation of the novel as the representative of women’s yearning towards the better lives is revealed through symbolism and imageries as well. The symbolism and imageries are identified as true to the oppression and bondage over both animate and inanimate things found in the novel. As a conclusion, Chopin has successfully implemented the feminism ideas with the symbolism and imageries to a chalenging and brave long fiction for readers. She has reached the readers sympathy by guiding the readers to see what facts Edna has to walk through and feel how Edna is tortured to keep on living with the prevailing conventional code. In addition, her long fiction is absolutely a feminist novel for it expresses the optimism and spirit of a woman to have her rights back. Finally, the way Chopin creates her characters is shown the femininity of her novel as she has exploited her characterization from a woman’s point of view. That’s why, the readers may see Chopin’s consistency in feminist ways.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Department: ["eprint_fieldopt_department_Faculty of Teacher Training and Education" not defined]
Subjects: English Education
Divisions: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education > English Education Study Program
Depositing User: EK Lengkonosari PN
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 06:37
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2017 06:37

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