HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved,
essential classics. `I would give up the unessential; I would give
my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give
myself.' Heralded as one of the first instances of feminist
literature and rejected at its time of publication by the literary
set on grounds of moral distaste, Kate Chopin's The Awakening
caused consternation in 1899. Constrained and confined by the
limitations surrounding marriage and motherhood in the late 1800s,
Edna Pontellier begins to challenge the notion of femininity
through her thoughts and actions. Questioning her love for her
husband, and opening herself up to the possibilities of other men
and a life outside of societal convention leads to a gradual
awakening of her desires. Chopin's fascinating exploration of one
woman challenging the expectation that surrounds her is powerful,
daring and ultimately tragic in its conclusions.
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