'The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude'
When 'The Awakening' was first published in 1899, charges of sordidness and immorality seemed to consign it into obscurity and irreparably damage its author's reputation. But a century after her death, it is widely regarded as Kate Chopin's great achievement. Through careful, subtle changes of style, Chopin shows the transformation of Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother, who - with tragic consequences - refuses to be caged by married and domestic life, and claims for herself moral and erotic freedom.
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Kate Chopin (1850-1904) was an American writer. Born in St. Louis, Missouri to a family with French and Irish ancestry, Chopin was raised Roman Catholic. An avid reader, Chopin graduated from Sacred Heart Convent in 1968 before marrying Oscar Chopin, with whom she moved to New Orleans in 1870. The two had six children before Oscar's death in 1882, which left the family with extensive debts and forced Kate to take over her husband's businesses, including the management of several plantations and a general store. In the early 1890s, back in St. Louis and suffering from depression, Chopin began writing short stories, articles, and translations for local newspapers and literary magazines. Although she achieved moderate critical acclaim for her second novel, The Awakening (1899)-now considered a classic of American literature and a pioneering work of feminist fiction-fame and success eluded her in her lifetime. In the years since her death, however, Chopin has been recognized as a leading author of her generation who captured with a visionary intensity the lives of Southern women, often of diverse or indeterminate racial background.