Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Awakening: Introduction
The Awakening: Plot Summary
The Awakening: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Awakening: Themes
The Awakening: Quotes
The Awakening: Characters
The Awakening: Symbols
The Awakening: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Kate Chopin
Historical Context of The Awakening
Other Books Related to The Awakening
- Full Title: The Awakening
- When Written: between 1897 and 1899
- Where Written: St. Louis, Missouri.
- When Published: 1899
- Literary Period: late Victorian
- Genre: Bildungsroman, a novel tracing a young person’s emotional and intellectual maturation.
- Setting: Grand Isle and New Orleans in the late 19th century.
- Climax: There are several potential climaxes in the story. One could choose the night Mademoiselle Reisz’s music moves Edna to tears; her first kiss with Arobin; or her last, fatal swim.
- Point of View: Third person.
Extra Credit for The Awakening
Divorce in the Family. Kate Chopin’s great-great-grandmother was the first woman in Mississippi to legally separate from her husband. She went on to raise five children and run a successful shipping business.
Fame After Death. Female desire and nonconformism were so taboo in turn-of-the-century Louisiana that The Awakening was largely forgotten after its publication; Chopin herself died in disgrace. Not until the 1960s did critics recognize Chopin’s last novel as a canonical work of literature.