Using a moral and intellectual approach– the awakening <br />By: Whitney Blankenship, Amanda Johnson, Ally Long, and Molly Vaughan <br />
How To Apply This Approach: <br />When using a Moral/Intellectual approach the reviewer is concerned with content and values. <br />This approach is as old as literature.<br /> It is a way to view philosophy, ethics, and religion. <br />The idea behind moral/intellectual critiquing is not only to discover the meaning, but to determine whether the literature is both true and significant. <br />
How To Apply This Approach Cont’: <br />The reviewer must decide if the work conveys a lesson or a message and if it can help the reader live a better life and improve their understanding of the world. <br />The moral/intellectual approach is not a sermon and it is meant to leave the reader wondering whether the content is morally or personally acceptable.<br />
Questions The Critic Must Ask: <br />What ideas does the work contain? <br />How strongly does the work bring forth ideas? <br />What application do the ideas have to the work’s characters and situations? <br />How may the ideas be elevated both intellectually and morally? <br />
In The Awakening How Is This Applied? <br />Themes- Self expression and identity and feminism <br />Suicide- Drowning herself <br />Title- The Awakening <br />
Self expression<br />Self expression is a major theme in this novel.<br />Throughout the story Edna discovers many ways to express herself.<br />While finding these ways to express herself, she learns to face her emotions that she has been holding in all along.<br />One of these ways is through art.<br />Edna didn’t want to be controlled by Leonce, but rather she wanted to be her own person.<br />Once Edna decides to be open about things, she decides she wants to be honest about all areas in her life.<br />
Self Expression Cont’<br />Edna started to do things that she wouldn’t normally do. <br />She swam more often as well as move out of her house away from her husband and children.<br />As Edna’s self expression started to grow, her friends and the people around her started to understand her less.<br />Edna ended up being by herself which ultimately lead to her death in the end.<br />Instead of conforming to what society told her to be, she chose to express herself in different ways than women in that time period. <br />
Feminism<br />Feminism is another major theme in this novel.<br />Feminism is an organized movement for the attainment of rights for women.<br />Women were viewed as weak and dependent by society during Kate Chopin’s time period. (She wrote The Awakening in 1899).<br />Women were told that all they should be doing is housework.<br />The attitude that the society showed towards women in that time period is also found in The Awakening.<br />Chopin expresses urges and desires disguised by the female gender through Edna.<br />
Feminism Cont’ <br />Throughout this short novel, Edna constantly acts the opposite of what society accepts.<br />Examples:<br />She moves out of her house.<br />She learns to swim and paint to express herself.<br />Although she is married, she turns to other men to fulfill her sexual needs (Alcee) and empty feelings (Robert).<br />
Suicide<br />Suicide is defined as the act of self-destruction by a person sound in mind and capable of measuring his or her moral responsibility.<br />During the time period that this short novel was written, female heroines were killed off in major literary works.<br />The most popular were the women who committed suicide.<br />In the end, Edna walks into the ocean and commits suicide because she cannot make compromises to her personality to please the people around her.<br />
Title <br />The title of The Awakening can only be understood after the incorporation of themes and content throughout the short novel. <br />The title represents the protagonist, Edna Pontellier. <br />Her first awakening:<br />When she hears Mademoiselle Reiz play the piano. <br />Her second awakening:<br />Throughout her relationship with Robert Lebrun. <br />Her third awakening: <br />Her death <br />
Title Cont’ <br />The title was not meant to summarize the story, rather it was meant to introduce the concept that Edna will encounter a mental awakening. <br />
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