Feminism; the Awakening

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Theresa0919
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The Emergence of Feminism

In the 19th century women were supposed live by concept of Republican Motherhood. Republican Motherhood is the idea that American women had a few main roles, to stay in their homes, to train their children to be good American citizens and to follow the demands of their husbands. This reinforced the idea of that a domestic women's life should be separate from the public world of men. Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. Feminism in 1900s pursued many freedoms that were considered scandalous before the turn of the century, and still today many believe woman should hold the classic stay at home mother role. When it was published in 1899, The Awakening by Kate Chopin was considered scandalous on many levels. Through the main character, Mrs. Edna Pontellier, Chopin presents many feminist ideas that were to come in the next century.
Feminism tries to battle the idea that a woman’s only job is to raise her children. Sometimes women even believe that they may want something or that we like something just because it is all we know and how society has influenced us to be often without our even realizing it. Women at this time did not pursue anything entertaining for themselves. Edna, in Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening knew when she married Mr. Pontellier that she did not love him, she was married off because that was the standard of women at that time. She originally does fall into the classic woman’s role by having children for her husband. Edna later realizes that she cannot be the perfect wife and mother like society expects her to be, a concept far before her time. This is well explained in the lines of chapter VI.
In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her…...

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