30 March 2011

The Awakening by Kate Chopin - Questions For Discussion


1. How does The Awakening speak to the roles of women and the conventions of literature at the end of
the 19th century?

2. How does Kate Chopin use other characters in The Awakening in order to cast Edna Pontellier's
desires—and social limitations—in sharp relief?

3. In what ways does Chopin's The Awakening reflect attributes of literary realism, local color, and/or
regionalism?

4. How does the Louisiana setting and Creole culture of The Awakening work as an important
component of Edna's transformation?

5. How is the setting of the novel described? What are some unique features of the setting?

6. Examine the Creole culture. What are some attributes of Creole culture or behavior that are foreign to
Edna or exclude her? What is Edna's background—how is she different?

7. What does Madame Ratignolle mean when she says to Robert of Edna: "She is not one of us; she is
not like us. She might make the unfortunate blunder of taking you seriously"? How is Edna different?
What instances are there where Edna's "outsider" role affects or hinders her participation in Creole
society?

8. Write an alternative ending to The Awakening, where Edna makes a choice other than suicide. How
would the story end? Would it compromise her "awakening?" – All groups must complete this task.

5 Response(s):

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