The Awakening

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Independently Published, Feb 21, 2019 - Fiction - 106 pages
Mr. Pontellier finally lit a cigar and began to smoke, letting the paper drag idly from his hand. He fixed his gaze upon a white sunshade that was advancing at a snail's pace from the beach. He could see it plainly between the gaunt trunks of the water-oaks and across the stretch of yellow camomile. The gulf looked far away, melting hazily into the blue of the horizon. The sunshade continued to approach slowly. Beneath its pink-lined shelter were his wife, Mrs. Pontellier, and young Robert Lebrun. When they reached the cottage, the two seated themselves with some appearance of fatigue upon the upper step of the porch, facing each other, each leaning against a supporting post. "What folly! to bathe at such an hour in such heat!" exclaimed Mr. Pontellier. He himself had taken a plunge at daylight. That was why the morning seemed long to him. "You are burnt beyond recognition," he added, looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage. She held up her hands, strong, shapely hands, and surveyed them critically, drawing up her lawn sleeves above the wrists. Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach. She silently reached out to him, and he, understanding, took the rings from his vest pocket and dropped them into her open palm. She slipped them upon her fingers; then clasping her knees, she looked across at Robert and began to laugh. The rings sparkled upon her ngers. He sent back an answering smile. - Taken from "The Awakening" written by Kate Chopin

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User Review  - Cariola - LibraryThing

Reread for a course I'm teaching (I'm about to get 50 papers on it!). Since I've read this classic novel of a woman's confused longing for selfhood many times, I found myself focusing on Chopin's ... Read full review

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User Review  - heidilove - LibraryThing

I loved this book. Not everyone I know does, but there you are; I'm different like that. Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Kate Chopin was born Katherine O'Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 8, 1851. Although she was brought up in a wealthy and socially elite Catholic family, Chopin's childhood was marred by tragedies. Her father was killed in a train accident when Chopin was just four years old, and in the following years she also lost her older brother, great-grandmother, and half-brother. In 1870, at the age of 19, she married Oscar Chopin, the son of a wealthy cotton-growing family in Louisiana. The couple had seven children together, five boys and two girls, before Oscar died of swamp fever in 1883. The following year, Chopin packed up her family and moved back to St. Louis to be with her mother, who died just a year later. To support herself and her family, Chopin started to write. Her first novel, At Fault, was published in 1890. Her most famous work, The Awakening, inspired by a real-life New Orleans woman who committed adultery, was published in 1899. The book explores the social and psychological consequences of a woman caught in an unhappy marriage in 19th century America, is now considered a classic of the feminist movement and caused such an uproar in the community that Chopin almost entirely gave up writing. Chopin did try her hand at a few short stories, most of which were not even published. Chopin died on August 22, 1904, of a brain hemorrhage, after collapsing at the World's Fair just two days before.

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