The Awakening and Selected Short Stories (Paperback)
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Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother, refuses to be caged by married and domestic life and claims for herself moral and erotic freedom. Through careful, subtle changes of style, Kate Chopin shows Edna's transformation-and its tragic consequences. This story of a woman's struggle with oppressive social structures received much public contempt at its first release; put aside because of initial controversy, the novel gained popularity in the 1960s, some six decades after its first publication, and has since remained a favorite of many readers. Chopin's depiction of a married woman, bound to her family and with no way to assert a fulfilling life of her own, has become a foundation for feminism and a classic account of gender crises in the late Victorian era.