The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin (Signet Classics) Info

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“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to
suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s
life.”

 
Kate Chopin was enjoying wide popularity
as a writer, mainly of short stories, when her second novel, The
Awakening
, was published to widespread criticism of its immorality. A
wake-up call to women all over the country, this landmark novel of
early American feminism tells of a Louisiana wife who discovers the
strength of her own sexuality and tries to wrench it from the hands of a
patriarchal society. And just as Edna Pontellier is ostracized for
trying to master her own sexual fate, so did Chopin’s reputation
suffer after she wrote this book. Today The Awakening is
considered a masterpiece and, along with Chopin’s short stories,
has set a standard for younger generations of women who have learned to
value their independence and authenticity.
Edited and with an
Introduction by Barbara H. Solomon and with a New Afterword by Roxane
Gay.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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3.92

277 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin (Signet Classics):

4

May 13, 2018

Queria a muito tempo ler Kate Chopin. Finalmente tive oportunidade de comprovar a sua qualidade. Tem um estilo de escrita semelhante a Virgínia Wolf (uma das escritoras que mais admiro). Nao imaginava gostar dos seus contos! Historias que abordam as relações familiares. Mas a cereja no topo do bolo corresponde a historia de " O despertar". Uma novela muito inspirada em livros como " Madame Bovary" e " Anne Karenina". Edna apresenta-se como uma figura muito melancólica, mas que tem um casamento Queria a muito tempo ler Kate Chopin. Finalmente tive oportunidade de comprovar a sua qualidade. Tem um estilo de escrita semelhante a Virgínia Wolf (uma das escritoras que mais admiro). Nao imaginava gostar dos seus contos! Historias que abordam as relações familiares. Mas a cereja no topo do bolo corresponde a historia de " O despertar". Uma novela muito inspirada em livros como " Madame Bovary" e " Anne Karenina". Edna apresenta-se como uma figura muito melancólica, mas que tem um casamento aberto. Ao longo da sua vida envolve- se com outros homens (sem ser o seu marido). Gosto especialmente de Richard.

Kate Chopin foi o meu autor estreia de este ano. E nao me arrependi. ...more
5

Mar 17, 2016

I've read The Awakening, but not when I was mature enough to understand/realize what immense affect it was. I will re-read in that regard,
4

May 01, 2013

On the plus side, Chopin's work is feminist. While some of her stories may seem mild and unworthy of controversy in our time, they were utterly shocking in hers. Some, like "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm", present ideas that are still considered deviant today. I believe these stories are still relevant.

However, her work is also exemplary of white feminism. Repeatedly, the black characters are referred to not by name but by position and even more frequently by percent of blackness - the On the plus side, Chopin's work is feminist. While some of her stories may seem mild and unworthy of controversy in our time, they were utterly shocking in hers. Some, like "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm", present ideas that are still considered deviant today. I believe these stories are still relevant.

However, her work is also exemplary of white feminism. Repeatedly, the black characters are referred to not by name but by position and even more frequently by percent of blackness - the mulatto, the quadroon, etc. In "Désirée’s Baby", she raises the issue of the one-drop rule. Whereas some read the story as a statement on the ambiguity of race, I see no condemnation of racism but rather a statement on women paying the price for things more rightfully laid at the doorstep of men. While I would certainly not discourage anyone from reading her work, I think they should read it with eyes wide open to this aspect. ...more
3

Feb 09, 2019

"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."

3/5 stars

Technically the edition that I read also contained some of Kate Chopin's short stories, but as I only chose to read a few of them and I find it hard "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."

3/5 stars

Technically the edition that I read also contained some of Kate Chopin's short stories, but as I only chose to read a few of them and I find it hard to judge short stories (due to their brevity), I'm rating only the main novel.

Plot: 3/5 - The Awakening is often cited as a classic of feminist fiction, and I can easily see why. The story focuses on Edna Pontellier, a wife and mother in New Orleans at the end of the 19th century, as she ascertains what she wants in life- even if it means going against society norms and propriety. The themes of the plot are what kept me engaged, but as for the actual events this is definitely a story that would be described as "character driven". The story unfolds, as so many classics do, over the course of very mundane day-to-day events. Hosting visitors. Reading letters. Playing the piano. It's all very of it's time. I either needed a lot more of Edna's introspection or a lot more spice when it came to her choices (like moving out was exciting and all but... you didn't actually leave your husband). Also... the ending was... a choice

Characters: 3/5 - I found Edna and Mademoiselle Reisz to be the most interesting characters, by far. I didn't dislike Robert but I never felt like I actually knew him, which really stood in the way of me rooting for his and Edna's relationship. As for Mr. Pontellier.. I don't really know why Edna didn't love him? Or why she fell out of love with him? It seemed like there was never an inciting incident or a reason, she just was like "Hm, don't want that anymore, thanks." And frankly I found Arobin to be the most compelling male character of the story yet we hardly had any time with him? And of course there's Madame Ratignolle... she was a nice foil to Edna's change in character, but that's about the only purpose she served.

Pacing: 3/5 - Fine I suppose. Novellas/short stories aren't my favorite format, there's always something I want more from them. In this case, it was what I mentioned in the plot section.

Writing: 3/5 - Kate Chopin peppers a lot of French into her writing, especially due to the story's setting, which is probably awesome if you know French. I do not, so that hampered my understanding from time to time. Other than that I had no issues with comprehension, it was just much less quotable than I imagined a "classic of feminist literature" being. Other than the one at the top of my review my favorite quote was "He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world." But those were the only two I jotted down.

Enjoyment: 3/5 - Overall, it's one that I don't regret reading but not one I'm sure I'd ever reread. If you feel like it's something that calls to you, give it a shot, but if it doesn't seem like your kind of book, you needn't bother. ...more
4

Oct 03, 2012

I like her short stories; they were daring and feminist for her time...recommend this thus far.
5

Nov 17, 2018

yo not gonna even lie, i finished the Awakening lying on my bathroom floor and just continued to lay there without moving for this book left me so dumb-founded but so fulfilled
5

Oct 12, 2017

Beautifully written. Can't decide what I think about the heroine and her decisions, but she was alive to me and her world was vivid. Lovely.
5

Nov 30, 2014

I don't have much to say about this book. It was really great! Kate Chopin is an amazing writer and the selection of stories was great! There wasn't a story I didn't like.
5

Dec 13, 2018

Five stars for Beyond the Bayou alone. The Awakening is pretty good, too.
3

Aug 21, 2014

I'm generally not a huge short story fan, so it has to be something really special for me to love it. Chopin is obviously a great writer, but none of these stories really grabbed me.
5

Feb 14, 2015

I love Kate Chopin. My favorites were: 'The Story of an Hour' and 'Regret'.
3

Jul 03, 2018

I couldnt quite get into this book. I was looking forward to this feminist novel, and yet, I found myself very disconnected from the main character. I couldn’t quite get into this book. I was looking forward to this feminist novel, and yet, I found myself very disconnected from the main character. ...more
3

Nov 05, 2014

I enjoyed this book tremendously as I was reading it, but I left off somewhere and just never could find my way back to it.
5

May 03, 2019

This is such an excellent book that I am surprised that it took so many years for me to 'discover' it. I rarely, if ever, heard Kate Chopin or The Awakening discussed.
2

Oct 13, 2017

The story was slow and I made it half way through before I went online to see what happened. Glad I did not finish it. After all she did to be independent she goes and kills herself because the guy she loves left. Ridiculous!
3

Aug 07, 2018

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was a difficult read for me. Once the story began moving, I found it easier to finish. The ending was sad. The short stories, however, I enjoyed much more. All show a glimpse into life in Louisiana.
1

May 22, 2008

I could not get past the fact that this woman abandons her children. Yeah, it sucks to be trapped in a marriage to a man you no longer love but the kids had nothing to do with it. You brought them into the world. It is your responsibility to ensure you don't scar them for life.
2

Oct 01, 2013

The novel itself was far under what I expected it to be. I understand why it's branded as a controversial early feminist novel, but the plot was so dry and the characters so boring that I wanted to put the book down. The short stories are amazing though and carry much more depth than the novel does.
3

Dec 10, 2010

Haven't read the other short stories yet, so this is just a review of The Awakening. It was nicely-written and incredibly atmospheric -- I loved the (ironically) dreamy, listless mood which had the main character just ebbing around -- but aside from that, it just breezed past me. Edna isn't easy to feel for or sympathise with, and I didn't linger on this story afterwards.
4

Jan 07, 2014

I think we read this in high school which looking back seems kind of heavy, but we did read serious literature all through there. Anyway, I have a school copy and re-read it not too long ago. I liked it the first time and again as well. It really brings to the senses the time and place; and back in the 80s having a female author from history was extra interesting. Especially with her message...or what you determined her message to be.
5

Oct 10, 2011

So many reviewers emphasize that Chopin wrote feminist views in a time when women could not politely leave their designated status. But Chopin's The Awakening and Stories address more than social limitations of the late 1800's. She writes beautifully of hope, passion, despair, romantic love, and mother love. But the primary impact on me was "freedom." And don't let me suggest that Chopin was only a "writer with a message." She was a very talented writer and storyteller. Highly recommend.
4

Nov 10, 2014

I'd read two of Kate Chopin's stories before (Story of an Hour and A Pair of Silk Stockings), both of which I absolutely adored. I wanted to read more of her work because I knew her importance as an early feminist writer, and this book did not disappoint. The Awakening, while a little slow to start and somewhat uneven, was absolutely compelling. Thank god I'm not a woman living in that time period, because I would have handled marriage and motherhood even worse than Edna did. I would love to I'd read two of Kate Chopin's stories before (Story of an Hour and A Pair of Silk Stockings), both of which I absolutely adored. I wanted to read more of her work because I knew her importance as an early feminist writer, and this book did not disappoint. The Awakening, while a little slow to start and somewhat uneven, was absolutely compelling. Thank god I'm not a woman living in that time period, because I would have handled marriage and motherhood even worse than Edna did. I would love to have read this for a class, because it's a great book to discuss with others (and that ending! My lord!)
The short stories, on a whole, didn't work so much for me, but I'm not a big fan of the short story to begin with. Nonetheless, there were a couple of stand outs (the two I'd read before and Desiree's Baby come immediately to mind) and on a whole they painted a colorful world which I haven't read much of before. ...more
4

Nov 16, 2018

Okay, this is going to be more than a bit spacey, due to its subject matter (I'm not the most nuanced). I'm also only reviewing The Awakening (I did attempt the other stories, but they're just not my cup of tea). The palpable emotion is what drew me to this story; I felt the highest high when Edna began to paint, delighted alongside her when she began setting up shop in her new home. But what really stuck with me was when she put herself at odds with a dear friend by declaring her adamant stance Okay, this is going to be more than a bit spacey, due to its subject matter (I'm not the most nuanced). I'm also only reviewing The Awakening (I did attempt the other stories, but they're just not my cup of tea). The palpable emotion is what drew me to this story; I felt the highest high when Edna began to paint, delighted alongside her when she began setting up shop in her new home. But what really stuck with me was when she put herself at odds with a dear friend by declaring her adamant stance on not giving up herself for someone else-namely her children, and that there had to be more to life than child bearing. That kind of outsider status is what I related to most. She's unfavorably compared to Adele, the model mother, always in a constant state of pregnancy, and never without her knitting, but who is she outside wife and mother? That's what Edna gets to experience, and feels (like most women today, although hopefully with much less despondency) at odds with society vs. self. I feel like I've got to tip toe around my own feminist principles both in this review and in real-life; I've met my fair share of men and women who feel reading and writing are simply hobbies to kill time until you have a baby, and once that baby is around, you should remain tethered to it. That might sustain some, but one size does not fit all. And while Edna's ultimate demise was tragic for me, perhaps for the character, she'd finally won. ...more
4

May 09, 2016

I really enjoyed this. I've decided to rededicate myself to reading this year, and as a part of that, I wanted to branch out. I've read lots of nonfiction, books from people of different cultures, but still, very few books by women. So that is what I'll be doing over the next few weeks I think.

In particular, I feel that it's important not just to read pulp by women, but books that have contributed to the evolution of feminism. As a man, it's impossible to know what a woman's life is like, how I really enjoyed this. I've decided to rededicate myself to reading this year, and as a part of that, I wanted to branch out. I've read lots of nonfiction, books from people of different cultures, but still, very few books by women. So that is what I'll be doing over the next few weeks I think.

In particular, I feel that it's important not just to read pulp by women, but books that have contributed to the evolution of feminism. As a man, it's impossible to know what a woman's life is like, how that affects their attitudes, thoughts, hopes, dreams, etc. Aside, from, I don't know, actually talking to a woman about it, what better way to try to glean some knowledge of the experience than from books?

Chopin definitely wrote in the 1800s. That much is clear. Prim, precise, extremely wordy, and excessively polite. When I'm in the right mood, I really enjoy this style. Sometimes it can be a difficult swamp to wade through.

I found the theme's of Chopin's works to be engaging and thought provoking though. The Awakening, in particular, was powerful. But, in general, she dealt a lot with how a woman copes with marriage and love. A big part of that was also the interplay of women and that of "proper" society and its expectations and how that could affect a woman who didn't like to play by the rules. As evidenced by the tragic story of Chopin's own social exile that befell her after the publication of The Awakening.

I was nervous and hesitant to read this book, for what reason, I'm not entirely sure. Maybe I was scared it would shatter illusions that I was happy perpetuating. Whatever it was, I'm glad I read it. ...more

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