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Tuesday, December 6 • 8:40am - 9:00am
A Road Map To Awakening: Examining The Function Of Supporting Characters In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

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This project examines Kate Chopin’s canonical novel, The Awakening, through both a feminist and a Marxist lens. Through these two perspectives, I will focus on Edna’s path to awakening within the novel, emphasizing her points of regression and progression as a character. When analyzing Edna’s development, it is almost impossible to ignore the influence of the novel’s supporting characters, specifically, Mr. Pontellier, Adele Ratignolle, Mademoiselle Reisz, and Robert Leburn upon her awakening. I will frame my analysis of these characters through the skeleton of the gender binary structure. I will specifically examine how the reactionary and progressive characters, though dichotomies of each other, serve similar means within the novel. In this project, I claim that the supporting characters in The Awakening facilitate Edna’s developing sense of self-awareness while they simultaneously prompt her suicide by leaving her with no model to follow as an awakened woman.

Tuesday December 6, 2016 8:40am - 9:00am PST
232 Karpen Hall

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