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The Awakening and Selected Stories [Anglais] [Broché]

Kate Chopin

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers and reviewers with its treatment of sex and suicide. In a departure from literary convention, Kate Chopin failed to condemn her heroine's desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation. The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class convention are themes of this now-classic novel.

The book was influenced by French writers ranging from Flaubert to Maupassant, and can be seen as a precursor of the impressionistic, mood-driven novels of Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes. Variously called "vulgar," "unhealthily introspective," and "morbid," the book was neglected for several decades, not least because it was written by a "regional" woman writer.

Biographie de l'auteur

Kate Chopin (1850–1904) was born in St. Louis. She moved to Louisiana where she wrote two novels and numerous stories. Because The Awakening was widely condemned, publication of Chopin’s third story collection was cancelled. The Awakening was rediscovered by scholars in the 1960s and 1970s and is her best-known work.

Sandra M. Gilbert teaches at the University of California, Davis.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The quintessential edition of an essential work. 28 juillet 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Like far too many, I was first introduced to Chopin in college. As an educator, I find Chopin's work to be timeless. Chopin speaks to contemporay society--and especially American society--in ways that few authors can and do. I use "The Awakening," as one of the cornerstones (yes; one may have more than one cornerstone) of my literature class--a class that relies on trade publications rather than anthologies and "typical" textbooks for reading material. One of the unexpected rewards I have experienced while teaching this novel is that male students, generally speaking, truly enjoy the work. Given its content and storyline, one might expect the opposite to be true. Nonetheless, the novel speaks to readers of all ages and genders. I believe that virtually ANYONE will identify with the characters Chopin brings to life in "The Awakening." Not only is it the story of a woman in search of her identity--arguably, a rather Maslowian tale of ! "self-actualization"--it is the story of the human condition.
Additionally, given the story of Chopin's life, the book takes on even greater significance (sorry, but you'll have to read the book to understand why I feel this to be so).
This book is a MUST read for all who seek to dispell the myth of "June Cleaver." (Ya, I know I am not suposed to say that but this is one VERY cool book--a book that EVERYONE should read.)
Besides, "The Awakening" itself is short enough and compelling enough that one will finish it in a matter of a few evenings. That the Penguin version also contains Chopin's EXCELLENT short stories, and a good deal of equally excellent biographical and critical writing regarding the author and her works makes grabbing a copy for one's personal library a must-do.
(Buy the book.) =)
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Supremely important rediscovery 25 juin 2004
Par Mary E. Sibley - Publié sur
The author, Kate Chopin, began to write when she was age thirty six. She had a ten year productive career the introduction by Nina Baym discloses. She died at age fifty three. Her work went out of print to be revived in the early 1960's. She wrote two novels and close to one hundred stories following the death of her husband and her mother.
Women, including Kate Chopin, writing after the Civil War turned to regionalism. By 1893 railroads had wrought a tremendous change. Regional writing, as the introduction points out, is tourism of the imagination. The stories are short and skilfully done. Even the use of dialect for the Cajun and Creole speakers is not off-putting. The stories have a wonderful stripped down to the essence quality. One is reminded of Chekhov.
In THE AWAKENING it is noted that the summer colony staying at the Lebrun cottages are almost entirely Creole. An exception is Edna Pontellier. She came from old Presbyterian Kentucky stock. Even as a child Edna tended to live in her own world. She feels a sense a of exaltation when she learns to swim. She has children, a husband, and becomes infatuated with a young friend, Robert Lebrun. Later Robert leaves to go to Mexico. Returning to New Orleans, Edna spends time with the people she has met at Grand Isles. Her husband is caught up in his household furnishings. When she decides to leave to live by herself in a smaller house, he prudently closes their large marital house to avoid gossip. Her absolute disregard for her duties as a wife shocks her husband. Her doctor can find no trace of the morbid condition ascribed to her. Robert Lebrun returns. He shows reserve. Leonce her husband and her children are part of Edna's life. She yields to the water of the gulf.
Kate Chopin was a writer of major achievement. One regrets, as outlined in the introduction, that there were no literary works produced by her in the last five years of her life. She was discouraged by the critical and moralistic response to her masterpiece, THE AWAKENING.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thought-provoking 20 février 2001
Par J. England - Publié sur
In "The Awakening", a woman rejects the drudgery of her life and decides to live selfishly, for once. Kate Chopin captivates her readers with a story of transformation and growth, and writes with clarity and ease. Perhaps most enjoyable about "The Awakening" and Kate Chopin's short stories is the vivid New Orleans setting. Chopin pays attention to the charms of Louisiana in this novel--Creole cooking and language, Southern black and French mannerisms of the time--not limiting herself by focusing on members of the elite. Definitely worth checking out!
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Creole Society 4 mars 2013
Par Selena#1 - Publié sur
I promise to be brutally honest with my opinion, but it should not be taken as fact. Any reader should read it for themselves, before they decide if this book has any merit or not. Do not judge this book biased solely on my opinion. If you do, you might miss out on a great read. You never know. It could happen.

1. Strong Main Character/ Female Heroine: Edna is definitely what one would call a strong woman in the 1800s. She married her husband after being infatuated with the idea of him and to disobey her father and sister. She is an independent woman, who wants to take her life back and have a crush on a younger man, but she neglects her children in the process. Edna could have had both. She could have had her lover Robert on the side, while still be a mother to her children. Plenty of modern day parents stay married only for their children and have lovers on the side. I am not saying that that is the right way to go, but it is better than the alternative. (view spoiler)[ Edna commits suicide, because she cannot escape her marriage and be with Robert. (hide spoiler)] 3 out of 5 stars

2. Strong Minor Characters: There is only four main people in this book that could be called minor characters. Edna’s husband is one of them. He is obsessed with wealth and his possessions. He views his wife and his children as his possessions as well that should be admired by the rest of society. Chopin introduces the concept of conspicuous consumption, which is the idea that men in those times showed off their wealth by showering their wives with precious jewels and the latest fashions. They bought mansions and decorate them fabulously. They go on expensive vacations and hire many servants to do the daily house duties. Robert is a caring young man, who is imaginative and very adventurous. He wishes to be flirty with Edna, but soon becomes attached and in love with her. Adele becomes close friends with Edna and tries to get her to think a little more about the wellbeing of the children instead of always about herself. Madame Reiz teaches piano to students and is an example for Edna’s wish to be an artist herself. I found the minor characters more interesting and three dimensional than Edna herself. 5 out of 5 stars

3. The Setting: The story takes place on an island resort and then later, in the city as well. The fact that Chopin actually describes real places in the United States was a pleasant surprise for me, since I have been reading books with made up cities and such in Young Adult novels. It is refreshing to actually be taken to a real place and transported back to a real tangible time. 4 out of 5 stars

4. The Plot: This is my first time reading this story and I have to say that I was somewhat surprised by the ending. I mean, I know that Edna was feeling vulnerable, but I did not really expect her to take it that far, to that kind of an extreme. If you are new to my reviewing style, I will just tell you that I do not restate the plot or the back cover of the book. My reader you can read that for yourself. I want to tell you my experience with the book and REVIEW what I think about it. So, this is what I think about the plot. I enjoyed the story and all it had to offer. It provided a historical portrait of Creole society at the time. 5 out of 5 stars

Overall, this book gets a 4  from me. There were a few fine details that I would have liked to fix. For example, I would have made Edna a little more likable and relatable. She seemed like such a spoiled, rich woman to me, but she could have been portrayed differently to be more relatable to others in Creole society as a whole.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A review of The Story of an Hour 16 février 2013
Par Solomore - Publié sur
Surprisingly, for a story set in 1894 the narrative is very easy to follow. It does not depart from the formal structure and maintains chronological order. The protagonist Louise Mallard receives news of the untimely death of her husband in a train wreck. The news was delivered by her sister Josephine who was accompanied by a friend of Louise's husband, Richards. Fittingly, everything takes place within an hour. The story excels in the skillful arrangement locations, intrigue, and complexity.

Louise unusual behavior in each location corresponds with her internal struggle against how society expects her to feel. First was the living room where she received news about her husband's death. Her reaction was not very typical and illustrates the internal conflicts she faces. Similarly, while she was in her room alone, she wrestles with a flood of changing emotions that run contrary to traditional expectations. Likewise, upon her arrival down stairs in the last scene, she is confronted with a new reality that set off new emotions within her that may have led to her death. Clearly the oppositions and major conflicts in the plot correspond with locations and demonstrate the power against Louise.

The mention of Louise's heart condition in the opening sentence of the story makes it all the more intriguing to read. The detail is provided in the beginning to capture the reader's attention and enlist curiosity. It is an essential part of the story that keeps the reader wondering what will become of Louise in relation to her heart condition. This detail also set off series of false leads. For example, the scene where she received the news could have led to a heart attack, but it leads to grief. Further, when she went to her room alone and wrestled with a range of changing emotions, one may think heart attack, but In fact the reader's intrigue is elevated in this scene as the Chopin announce, "There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully...Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously" (p. 214). No heart attack. Once again readers are left to wonder how this will play out.

The unexpected revelation that her husband is far from dead introduces a twist in the plot. The surprising impact of this revelation on Louise invokes mixed feelings in the reader and underscores the complexity in the story. It also warrants a reassessment of Louise's character. Was she a devoted wife? Does she really love her husband? Did she die because she does not want to see her husband again? Few clues are provided to answer these questions, and the reader is left to their own conclusions.

Finally, The Story of an Hour reads simple and brief, but the plot and structure are skillfully arranged. Chopin's withholding of crucial exposition until the very end elicits strong curiosity in the reader and injects an unexpected twist in the plot. Readers are left to piece together the reason behind Louise's death.
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