Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Many contemporary readers may feel that The Awakening articulates a clearly feminist agenda. Do you agree with this reading? Why or why not?
2. Discuss the Creole and Cajun influence in Kate Chopin’s stories. How does Chopin’s identity as a regional writer inform her work?
3. Critics have said that one of Chopin’s most persistent themes is the interaction between one’s sense of self and one’s obligation to community. How does this dynamic play out in The Awakening?
4. How do you feel Chopin judges Edna in The Awakening, if at all? How do you interpret the meaning of the novel’s ending?
5. What do you feel is the significance of the novel’s title? What is the awakening of which the title speaks?
6. What do you think Edna means when she tells Ad?le, "I would give up my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself"?
7. Do you think Edna benefits from her expanded
sexual consciousness? What do you think Chopin thinks?