First appearing in 1899 The Awakening is regarded as work presaging both feminist fiction and literary modernism. The author's clear vision of a woman's internal and external conflicts continue to demand engagement and response from readers.
The Awakening follows Edna Pontellier as she recognizes and attempts to deal with her confining lot as a woman and mother in the 19th century American South. Torn between traditional roles and an inchoate desire for independence and a more passionate life, she faces more than one difficult choice, leading to a grim reckoning. Initially receiving a mixed critical reception, including much condemnation for its frank depiction of adultery, the novel has gone on to be recognized as both a classic piece of fiction and a groundbreaking work of womenâ€™s realism. The poignant portrayal of the protagonist attempting to determine her true feminine identity makes this one of the first novels willing to openly confront womenâ€™s issues, to make clear that traditional roles could be limiting and to legitimatize an emotional life that transcended societyâ€™s boundaries.
With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of The Awakening is both modern and readable.
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