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Catch phrase/ Tag line Blurb

Short biography of the author (similar to the oral report)

Publication details of the particular edition/ publication that you read c.1. Year of publication c.2. Place of publication c.3. Publisher

Release of the femme fatale This story of a woman's struggle with oppressive social structures received much public contempt at its first release; put aside because of initial controversy, the novel gained popularity in the 1960s, some six decades after its first publication, and has since remained a favorite of many readers. Chopin's depiction of a married woman, bound to her family and with no way to assert a fulfilling life of her own, has become a foundation for feminism and a classic account of gender crises in the late Victorian era. Born: 8 February 1851 Died: 22 August 1904 (cerebral hemorrhage) Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri Best known as: Author of The Awakening Name at birth: Katherine O'Flaherty Kate Chopin was an American novelist and short-story writer best known for her startling 1899 novel, The Awakening. Born in St. Louis, she moved to New Orleans after marrying Oscar Chopin in 1870. Less than a decade later Oscar's cotton business fell on hard times and they moved to his family's plantation in the Natchitoches Parish of northwestern Louisiana. Oscar died in 1882 and Kate was suddenly a young widow with six children. She turned to writing and published her first poem in 1889. The Awakening, considered Chopin's masterpiece, was subject to harsh criticism at the time for its frank approach to sexual themes. It was rediscovered in the 1960s and has since become a standard of American literature, appreciated for its sophistication and artistry. Chopin's short stories of Cajun and Creole life are collected in Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), and include "Desiree's Baby," "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm." The novel was begun in 1897 and completed on January 21, 1898. Kate Chopin's original title was A Solitary Soul. It was published as The Awakening by Herbert S. Stone & Company in Chicago on April 22, 1899.

Quotes (with page no. or chapter & paragraph)

A certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within herthe light which, showing the way, forbids it. (c.6, p.13) He thought it very discouraging that his wife, who was the sole object of his existence, evinced so little interest in things which concerned him, and valued so little his conversation. (c.3, p.5) "You have been a very, very foolish boy, wasting your time dreaming of impossible things when you speak of Mr. Pontellier setting me free! I am no longer one of Mr. Pontellier's possessions to dispose of or not. I give myself where I choose. If he were to say, 'Here, Robert, take her and be happy; she is yours,' I should laugh at you both. (c.36, p.108) The way to become rich is to make money, my dear Edna, not to save it, (c.18, p. 53)

Trivia about the book

Was The Awakening really banned from libraries in Chopin's hometown of St. Louis? Not so far as we can tell. Emily Toth, Chopin's biographer, tried to verify that claimone that has been repeated for decadesbut could find no evidence to support it. But it is true that The New York Times on July 6, 1902, reported that the Evanston, Illinois, Public Library had removed from its open shelves The Awakening and other books that the library board found objectionable (the article is on p. 9 of the newspaper). And the 2011 Banned or Challenged Books site sponsored by The American Library Association and other groups notes that the novel was "challenged at the Oconee County, Ga. Library (2011) because the cover of the book--a novel about a woman whose desires run against the family structure of the 1890s--shows a painting of a womans bare chest and upset the patron." Kate Chopins husband died, leaving her in a huge amount of debt (over $200,000 worth) and with several small children. She was a passionate woman and engaged in an affair with a married man before moving to St. Louis to live near her mother. Later she suffered a nervous breakdown and began writing as a way to cope. This led to her career as a writer. Frankly, weve seen Disney movies more graphic. The word "sex" is never mentioned in this novel. No body parts are named. No explicit acts described (with the exception of some kisses). Nonetheless, the implications are strong. If you fire up your imagination you can easily transform The Awakening from PG to R. Edna Pontellier Existed in a semi-conscious state Romantic with latent dreams Childlike (curious and learning) Childish (Selfish and thoughtless) Mademoiselle Reisz unconventional and unpopular older woman Pianist


10 vocabulary with meaning and sample usage

In touch with Robert Might have been future Edna Adle Ratignolle a devoted wife and mother, the epitome of nineteenth-century womanhood. The life Edna ignored Static and simple Robert Lebrun inspires Edna to forget her reserve and to begin revealing herself to others. Although notoriously ruled by his passions and impulses, he nevertheless cannot forget the societal conventions that both allow and limit his actions. Creole: A person of European descent (usually French) born in the West Indies or Spanish America. The Creole talked partly in French, partly in English when he introduced himself. Lawn sleeves: sleeves made of very fine cotton or linen. Mrs. Pontellier wore lawn sleeves because of the hot weather. Lugger: a small sailing vessel. Only three people could fit into the lugger without it tipping over. Acme: the point at which someone or something is best, perfect, or most successful The Madames musical career was past its acme when she died. Alacrity: brisk and cheerful readiness. Robert greeted the baker with alacrity in the early morning. Extraneous: not essential She dismissed the thought, deciding it was extraneous. Tacit: understood or implied without being stated. Adele listened to Edna with tacit seriousness. Caprice: a sudden desire Alcee was overcome with caprice at the sight of Edna. Atelier: a studio especially for an artist or designer Edna spent much time in the afternoons painting in her atelier. Seriocomic: mixing the serious with the comic with comic predominating. He never used his seriocomic tone with his wife.

The Awakening