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The Rambler

The Rambler

Awards & Recognition

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

Book Review: The Awakening


The Awakening was written in 1898 by Kate Chopin. The book is set in 1899 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In this period of time, the population was largely Catholic and governed by Napoleonic law. Being loyal to one’s spouse was highly expected, and divorce was majorly frowned upon.

The book was published in 1899 and was instantly criticized. Due to a theme of women’s independence, it was extremely controversial in that era. The book brought about new ideas of women’s freedom that challenged the idea of the way women lived.

The novel begins with Léonce, Edna’s husband, who is a wealthy businessman. Léonce begins speaking to a parrot. The parrot is shrieking at Léonce and wants to fly away. The parrot symbolizes Edna who is the main character in the novel. Like the parrot, Edna feels tied down and unable to fly. Edna feels as if her two children and husband take her away from her freedom. She desires and yearns for more than the simple life she lives.

One afternoon while Edna was waiting for her beloved friend Mademoiselle Reisz she encounters a man named Robert. Robert and Edna begin to spend a lot of time with one another, and they begin to fall for one another. Edna feels drawn to Robert due to him listening to her and the things she shares, unlike her husband who is usually away at work and barely listens.

Robert’s morals are completely crushed around Edna, and it’s slowly destroying Robert due to the fact that Edna is married. This factor pushes Robert away from Edna, and although he still loves her deeply, Robert decides to flee from Edna and move to Mexico.

He leaves a note that he loves her, and that he is doing this because he loved her. Edna also meets a man named Alcee Arobin, a known womanizer. They meet at a horse race and Alcee becomes very interested in Edna after hearing of her knowledge of the horses. There were no Romantic feelings that sprouted from the two. It was merely a physical attraction and nothing more. This attraction led Edna to her sexual awakening. Edna encounters Robert at a local garden café. Edna walks over to Robert and confronts him about leaving. He responds irritated that she has pushed his emotions to the side. They talk for a bit and seemingly resolve the tension in the air. Edna uses her newly awakened sexuality on Robert, and he is excited about her newfound independence.

Edna moves out of her husband’s house by saving up enough money from her paintings. She leaves her kids with her husband and continues moving forward in her independence. In her mind Robert will perhaps see that she is living alone, and move in with her so that they could be together. Robert still sees her as a married women and will not move forward with Edna. This leaves Edna completely crushed.

At the end of the novel Edna realizes her love for Robert was genuine and that she felt nothing but physical attraction for Alcee. The pain she caused her family and the people around her she could not live with. Edna decides to go into the water and continue to walk until she drowned. Edna kills herself at the end of the novel after destroying her life for someone she could not be with.

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