The Awakening (Kate Chopin) and The history of the women’s rights movement (beginning with the Seneca Falls convention in 1848)
Length: 5-7 pages, plus a Works Cited page, one inch margins, Times New Roman 12 point font
Sources/Quotations: A minimum of three secondary sources. Seven direct quotations (3 from the primary source and 4 from the secondary sources)
Some secondary sources include:
“Here all females are pictured as physically and mentally inferior to the male; but on the other hand, they are portrayed as the pious and virtuous repositories of the nation’s morality. The American female, according to this view, is personified as the paragon of American innocence, who must be defended, protected, and sheltered from the hard realities and evils of life at all costs. The American woman reigned if she did not rule.”
- Howard B. Furer. “The American City: A Catalyst for the Women’s Rights Movement.” The Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 52, no. 4, 1969, pp. 285–305., www.jstor.org/stable/4634459.
“It is true that the woman in the book who wanted her own way comes to an untimely end in the effort to get what she wants, or rather, in the effort to gratify every whim that moves her capricious soul, but there are sentences here and there throughout the book that indicate the author’s desire to hint her belief that her heroine had the right of the matter and that if the woman had only been able to make other people ‘understand’ things as she did she would not have had to drown herself in the blue waters of the Mexican Gulf.” (Culley 152)
- Chopin, Kate, and Margaret Culley. The Awakening: An Authoritative Text, Biography, Contexts, Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994. Print.
“The overriding romantic theme in the novel is Edna’s search for individuality and freedom: […]. This search amounts to her own romantic quest for a holy grail, a grail of self-definition. […] The aspect of naturalism most evident in The Awakening is the portrayal of Edna as hostage to her biology. She is female, has children, and is a wife in a society that dictates behavioral norms based on those conditions. […] Another naturalistic element in the novel is the portrayal of Edna as a victim of fate, chance, of an uncaring world, pulled into a consuming, but indifferent sea. In the end, despite her developments into selfhood, the only escape from her biological destiny as a woman in society, possessed, sexual, and ruled, is death.”
- Wyatt, Neal. “Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, and Local Color The Literary Context of The Awakening.” Google Sites. N.p., 1995. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.