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Read an 1899 Review of Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”

The Voice of the Sea Speaks to the Soul:
On Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

An 1899 Review of Chopin’s Iconic Early Feminist Novel

By Book Marks

The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a story of the Creole life of New Orleans, by a writer who has already gained some reputation in picturing Louisiana scenes and characters. Her Bayou Folks was one of the most fascinating books lately written about a region full of possibilities to the maker of fiction. Her most recent book is more ambitious, being a novel, and evidently written with some sort of a purpose.

Just what the purpose is, the average reader will be puzzled to know; but it is quite evident that the book was not written for the Philistines. It is the story of a woman’s life, and whether or not it is a common story in any of its essential features, the public must decide. The heroine, Edna Pontellier, is an impulsive, passionate, and somewhat self-centered Southern girl, born in Kentucky, and married to a Creole whom she does not love. Read the review at Book Marks.

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