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Word Count: 657
The Awakening by Kate Chopin was considered very shocking when it was first published because of the sexual awakening of the main character Edna Pontellier and her unconventional behavior Chopin moved to New Orleans after her marriage and lived there for twelve years until the death of her husband She returned to St Louis where she began writing She used her knowledge of Louisiana and Creole culture to create wonderful descriptions of local color and she incorporated French phrases used by the CreolesThe Awakening begins at Grade Isle a vacation spot of wealthy Creoles from New Orleans Edna is there with her two sons and her husband Leonce who comes and goes because of business Edna is not Creole but her husband is She has never felt like she fits in with their lifestyle Edna has always done what is expected of a woman including marrying a man she did not love He regards her as a possession rather than an individualWhile on vacation Edna falls in love with Robert Lebrun She often goes to the beach with him She begins to realize for the first time at age 28 that she is an individual Edna feels like one who awakens gradually from a dream to the reality of life After this discovery Edna changes She disregards her husbands wishes and often ignores her children She learns to swim which also makes her begin to feel more independent Edna befriends two women Mademoiselle Reisz a pianist and Madame Ratignolle a motherly lady Distressed when Robert leaves for Mexico Edna often visits Mademoiseel Reisz to whom Robert often writesEdna continues to disregard the customs of society Her husband becomes very upset and insists that they must observe les convenances if they want to keep up with society He tries to get her to attend her sisters wedding but she refusesLeonce goes to New York on business but Edna refuses to go with him The children are
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