Book Report Sample

Book Report Sample

1. Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening is set in New Orleans, on a famous summer holiday resort, called Grand Isle. It is a favorite place of rich Creoles. It is there that the main character of the novel, Edna, meets the people that will change her life. The author chose this place as at that time, at the end of the nineteenth century, Creole women were much more outspoken than American women and their behavior was more unreserved, which was an incitement to Edna to become free from her husband’s power.

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2. The main character of the novel is Edna Pontellier, who is married, but feels fettered by the marriage. However, she is brave enough to break the rules of the society to be guided only by her feeling. She is encouraged by Mademoiselle Reisz, who is reserved and unsociable, and Adèle Ratignolle, a Creole woman, who is both a devoted wife and a person who can boldly express her point of view.

3. Other characters also contribute much to the “awakening” of Edna. For example, Robert Lebrun makes Edna feel a real woman, flirting with her. Because of this affection Edna feels depressed beside her husband and seeks for the satisfaction of her sexual needs. Therefore she has intimacy with Alcée Arobin, just in order to feel free from her husband.

4. The conflict consists in the attempts of the protagonist to become independent. Edna seeks for freedom and tries to break the rules of society, according to which she must restrain all her feelings and submit to her husband.

5. To become free, Edna flirts with Robert Lebrun and ultimately falls in love with him. They can not be together because of the standards of the society. Therefore, they part, but still keep up correspondence. Though Robert finds strength to make a declaration of life, he is not able to break the rules. So he leaves Edna, who commits a suicide, swimming away into the open sea.

6. The story is told rather impartially, though sometimes you can feel the author’s sympathy with the woman’s status as well as the support for the struggle with such situation.

7. There is no irony in the novel The Awakening.

8. Symbols in the novel add much to the perception of Edna’s story. For instance, birds in cages, particularly a parrot and a mockingbird, symbolize the women, bound by the marriage and unable to become free. These two birds represent Edna and Mademoiselle Reizh, who have wings but cannot fly. The sea is a symbol of absolute freedom. It is there that Edna feels independent and strong and it is finally the sea that helps her to escape from the oppression of the society.

9. The theme of the novel is the impossibility of self-development for women who are under the overall control of their husbands. In the nineteenth century women were bound by the stereotypes of the society and had to depend on men in everything.

10. The novel made a great impression on me because by the example of one woman the author managed to convey the oppression of all women at that time. I empathized with Edna and understood her desire to be free and to follow her feelings. The imagery of the novel also contributes much to the perception of the problem, discussed in the book.

11. Edna Pontellier comes with her husband to Grand Isle in order to have a rest, but these days change dramatically her life. She meets women who encourage her to say what she thinks, to act as she wants and to become independent from her husband. Trying to free herself from the ties of society, she falls in love with one of the vacationers and this love helps her to find herself. However, her beloved is not able to break the rules, established by centuries, and leaves her. Edna decides to commit a suicide but it is rather an escape from her cage.

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