"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recent Read

The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a classic and one of the early feminist-thought novels. (Yay feminism!) It was so unconventional when it was written that it was promptly banned. Banned books are my favorite.

There is a lot of punch packed in this small novel. Let's start with recurring images that carry weighty significance. You'll want to pay careful attention to the following when reading this book because each may lead down multiple avenues of interpretation:
  • birds and wings
  • water, ocean, born of water
  • old and new bunches of violets
  • wedding bands and related hand gestures
  • walking through an ocean of grass
  • running from prayers
  • Pontellier mansion under construction and half torn asunder
  • giving birth and re-birth
  • the children
In addition, aside from the main characters, the secondary characters bear some significance. Try exploring the nature of the following supporting characters:
  • the two lovers
  • the lady in black with prayer beads
  • Mariequita
  • Dr. Mandelet
But wait, there's more. Consider these debatable themes as well:
  • traditional vs. conventional familial roles
  • property and ownership (especially regarding marriage and children) and subsequent solutions to related problems, if any
  • independence fostering independence or dependence fostering dependence from generation to generation
  • motherhood, characteristics of so-called motherly women
  • outward conformity with inward questioning
  • giving the non-essential, or one's life, but not one's self
  • dupe to illusion and awakening to reality
  • not acting like oneself or becoming a new self

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