The awakening analysis

The awakening analysis - which pivots on “voluntary...

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May Hogan English 27 Professor Lords November 10, 2008 “Summary of Personal Property” In her essay analyzing The Awakening, Margit Stange has found there is a connection to Kate Chopin’s depiction of Edna Pontellier and the historical context of feminist which Stange believes influenced the novel. For example, she links Edna’s pursuit for financial independence with the late nineteenth century’s Married Women’s Property Acts, which sought to give married women greater control over their property and earnings. In the end, Stange believes, Edna’s awakening, her acquisition of self-determination, comes from identifying and re-distributing what she owns, part of understanding Edna’s motives and Chopin’s thinking are Stange’s well- chosen references to the contemporary ideology that shapes Edna’s thinking and her choices. Stange argues that Edna is seeking the late-nineteenth-century conception of self-ownership,
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Unformatted text preview: which pivots on “voluntary motherhood.” Edna’s awakening, her acquisition of self-determination, comes from identifying and re-distributing what she owns, which Stange argues is her body. For example, Edna’s skin indicates early in the novel her more complex relationship with her husband. Her sunburned hands seem to indicate a woman who has performed a labor of some necessity, therefore making her “unrecognizable” as the wife of a respected and prosperous businessman. Just like any other object among someone's possessions, she has a value in dollars. Edna, being a mother and a wife, has also been treated as a possession. In comparison, Edna also has a "value". Her "'value' is a sign of Lèonces's wealth" (Stange 278). As his wife, she is to look pretty, look wealthy, have children, and make Lèonce look good. Edna knows she cannot continue to live as another person possessions and must break free....
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