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Critical Essay The Awakening by Kate Chopin Kate Chopin was writing before the phrase womens movement had been coinedKate Chopin A Critical Biography but the stirrings of this twentieth century movement were beginning to simmer in the United States Late 19th century customs demanded that woman be defined in relationship to the men in their life - wife mother daughter - and not as separate human beings with a defined-self outside their family relationships Society strongly discouraged womens attempts to develop a separate and independent self Kate Chopins work was praised and admired until the publication of her novel The Awakening in 1899 The resentment and dislike that followed traveled throughout established literary cliques The book was banned from certain libraries in her hometown of St Louis and written off as having disagreeable glimpses of sensuality and language unfit for publicationCambridge Literature Resource Notes of The Awakening Now after a century the novel is appreciated more then ever because of its flawless example of modern day womens needs and potential also the successful example it sets by proving that women are not to be mindless and unsophisticated Born Kate OFlaherty on February 8 1851 Chopin was the daughter of an Irish father and a French-Creole mother Their home was St Louis where her father was a successful businessman but died in a train wreck when Kate was five years old Chopin attended the St Louis Academy of the Sacred Heart She read many books and essays This gave her a diverse background for thought She met and fell in love with Oscar Chopin They were married on June 9 1870 and in October they moved to New Orleans Eventually the mother of six Kate dressed as she pleased smoked and explored the city on her own She often ignored the more formal events of society but appeared successful at finding a balance between societal demands and her own needs Her husband Oscar supported
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