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the sample of the term papar

    本科生期末论文设计范文

    ( 2011 )

     目? 19世纪美国男权社会下女性的成长——

    解读《觉醒》中艾德娜的觉醒过程和原因 院? 业? 学生姓名? 廖晓珍 学号? 06240108 指导教师? 江玉娇 职称? 教授 合作导师? 职称? 完成时间? 2010 4 绩?

    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    浙江师范大学本科毕业设计(论文)正文

    

     Abstract. ......................................................................................................................... 1摘要 ................................................................................................................................ 1 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................ 2 2. The process of Edna‟s awakening ................................................................................ 3

     2.1 The subject-unawareness ....................................................................................... 3

    2.2 The subject-awareness ........................................................................................ 4

    2.2.1 Sexual awakening ............................................................................................ 4 2.2.2 Spiritual awakening ............................................................................................ 5 3. The reasons of Edna‟s awakening ................................................................................ 6 3.1 Social backdrop ..................................................................................................... 6

    3.2 Edna‟s social circles ........................................................................................... 7

    3.3 Edna‟s characters ................................................................................................ 8 4. Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 9 Works Cited .................................................................................................................. 11

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century

    AmericaAnalysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reasons

    in The Awakening

    Liao Xiaozhen

    Abstract: Kate Chopin is one of the few women writers who bravely attack the male-centered society of nineteenth century America. The protagonist Edna, depicted in

    her masterpiece The Awakening, goes through a hardship from subject-unawareness to subject-awareness in protest against the social constraints enforced on nineteenth century

    women. Ednas growth does not come from thin air. This paper also explores the reasons behind the awakening process from three perspectives, namely her character, her

    surroundings, and social backdrop.

    Key words: growth, awakening, process, reason

    19世纪美国男权社会下女性的成长

    ——解读《觉醒》中埃德娜的觉醒过程和原因

    廖晓珍

要?凯特?肖邦是勇于对十九世纪男权社会进行大胆批评的少数女作家之一。

    其巅峰之作《觉醒》的女主人公艾德娜, 希望摆脱十九世纪社会强加给女性的种种

    枷锁?经历了从主体无意识到主体有意识的艰苦历程。艾德娜的成长过程并非空穴

    来风。本文同时也从艾德娜的性格因素?社会的宏观因素和生活环境的微观因素探

    讨了女主人公觉醒过程的三个原因。

    关键词?成长(觉醒(过程(原因

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century

    AmericaAnalysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reasons

    in The Awakening

    FLC 2006?05??English?Liao Xiaozhen

    Tutor: Jiang Yujiao

    1. Introduction

    thKate Chopin was an American author of novels and short stories in the 19 century,

    best known for her charming Louisiana stories. Today she is well-known in the literary world for her unique and unmatched voices she created in her works as early as the late nineteenth century, which gave an important view of female role in society and paved way for the later feminist movement. So she is now considered to be a forerunner of

    thfeminist authors of the 20 century. Many of her works come to subjects such as divorce, affairs, and homosexuality which usually draw lots of critics from the literary world. Chopins major works include two novels: At Fault (1890) and The Awakening (1899),

    and two collections of short stories: Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897). Of

    these, The Awakening is regarded as the most influential and widely read masterpiece of Kate Chopin.

    The Awakening was published in 1899, later described as a sensuous woman who

    follows her inclinations (Anthology of American Literature, vol?[AAL?],224). It is

    Chopins masterpiece, but its theme of infidelity and the passions of its heroine brought condemnation. The Awakening was judged too strong drink for moral babes that it was

    banished from sight and from print for decades afterward (AAL?224), and its author and

    her reputation were carried into an oblivion. As Wendy Martin mentioned in his book, New Essays on The Awakening, the reviewers in the period immediately following

    publication of the novel condemned Chopins protagonist as weak, selfish, and immoral

    (7). Frances Porcher announced in the May 4, 1899, issue of the Mirror that Edna has awakened to know the shifting, treacherous, fickle deeps of her own soul in which lies, alert and strong and cruel, the fiend called Passion, that is all animal and all of earth, earthy (7). A reviewer in Public Opinion announced we are all satisfied when Mrs.

    Pontellier deliberately swims out to her death in the waters of the gulf. Another review

    that appeared at the same time in Literature describes the novel as an essentially vulgar

    story. The reviewer of the Providence Sunday Journal announced, Miss Kate Chopin is

    another clever woman, but she has put her cleverness to a very bad use in writing The

    Awakening. The purport of the story can hardly be described in a language fit for publication (7). Many critics have felt that Edna Pontellier was no more than a Creole

    Bovarya New World revision of Gustave Flauberts foolishly sentimental Madame

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    BovaryThe Awakening seems to elaborate a shadowy story about female erotic

    freedom and even about feminist emotional independence (Gilbert and Gubar 993). In a

    word, The Awakening was dubbed morbid, essentially vulgar and unhealthy.

    thWith the emerging of feminist movement in the late-20 century, the importance of

    the novel was recovered, so did Chopins reputation as one of the feminist forerunners.

    Kenneth Eble, Larzar Ziff, Per Seyersted, and Lewis Leary all observed that The

    Awakening is noteworthy for its unusual candor about female sexuality (Wendy 13). A wide range of studies are conducted on the novel from diversified perspectives such as psychoanalysis, feminism, modernism, and structuralism. Yet though The Awakening is now widely read and admired, the critical issues discussed for the book are still confined. Marilynne Robinson mentioned: For most critics the issues still seem to be whether

    Edna Pontellier is justified in withdrawing from her marriage and her place in society, and whether her suicide should be read as failure, tragedy, or triumph (Chopin 7). To

    explore alienation and self-destructiveness is not to set about making converts to them. There is plenty of both in the world, and in every individual experience, to reward a writers attention to them, however. The appropriate question to ask about Edna Pontellier is not whether her behavior is justified, but what is revealed in it (Chopin 8).

    So what do her behaviors reveal to us? How does she awaken to self-realization and autonomy? What motivates her to take those steps?

    To answer those questions, let us first have a better understanding of the second question: what‟s the process of Edna Pontelliers awakening.

    2. The process of Ednas awakening

    Based on womens object-awareness mentioned in psychoanalytic feminism

    (Madsen 94-119), the process of Ednas awakening can be divided into two main parts:

    one is subject-unawareness; the other is subject-awareness. To be clear, the subject- unawareness is going to deal with the heroines unawareness as an independent and free

    individual, while the subject-awareness will elaborate on the process to be a free individual with three parts, namely biological awakening, spiritual awakening, and the ultimate awakening.

    2.1 The subject-unawareness

    The Awakening begins at Grand Isle, a fashionable summer holiday resort of wealthy Creoles from New Orleans. The protagonist Edna Pontellier and her family settle in a big mansion near the sea. Edna is, at the beginning, a traditional bourgeois housewife, assuming a conventional role as a wife and a mother. Her husband is a successful businessman, who provides her with a comfortable home and a decent life. At the beginning of the story, a green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, keeps repeating over and over (Chopin 1). It indicates Edna Pontelliers confined life.

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    Though she has this seeming good life, she is all the time subordinated to her husband, with no personal freedom at all. In spite of this, she is satisfied with the life, and though her husband looks at her as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property (Chopin

    3), she takes it with ease. It is true that Edna is living an admiring life with everything at hand, but her social circle is so confined, and sadly she never perceives the fact that she has no self-value and never lives as a complete individual.

    As other women, confined in social expectation of purity, piety, submissiveness, and compassion in womanhood, the protagonist Edna is also trying to be a good wife. In Chapter?, there is a scene where Robert is praising Ednas painting, and during his

    oblivious attention, he lays his head upon her arm, but she repulses him gently. With his second offense, she repulses it firmly, thinking there is no reason that she should submit to it (Chopin15). The social claims for women in Victorian time prison their sexual desires in marriage. Sexual freedom, which is acceptable in male world, yet, without the recognition of the social morals, becomes an unforgivable sin for women (Simone 160).

    There is another perceivable factor explaining Ednas efforts to be a good

    wifeAdèle Ratignolle, an embodiment of every womanly grace and charm. She is one of the women who idolize their children, worship their husbands and esteem it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angles

    (Chopin 10). She prepares winter outfits for her kids in early summer time and plays piano only to entertain them. None of what she does is for herself. Of course, her great sacrifice is also heavily rewarded. Adèle is admired by all her acquaintances, so is Edna. Influenced by Adèle, Edna is also struggling to be a good wife, remaining self-unaware. 2.2 The subject-awareness

    As the story goes, the protagonist Edna gradually comes to subject-awareness, from physical to spiritual. Though in the end she chooses death, she gets her real freedom in other world. For her, it is still a victory in the male-centered society. 2.2.1 Sexual awakening

    Though Edna is careful about her traditional mother and wife role, her little restlessness has come to disturb her from the beginning. In chapter ?, when Robert is

    asking Edna to go swimming, Edna hesitates, answering no with a tone of indecision

    (Chopin 16). As Robert insists, Edna goes with him. Swimming in the sea, she is bewildered, not knowing why she didnt decline it in the first place. In fact, the desire for sexual freedom is emerging from her heart. She was beginning to realize her position in

    the universe as a human being (Chopin17). The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The

    touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace (Chopin 25).

    The sea, symbol of freedom and independent, is awakening Edna as an individual. The feeling Edna gets from the sea is the freedom of releasing her body and experiencing the world with her body. This is the start of her sexual awakening.

    There is more to come for her little rebellion. One evening, after swimming with

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    Robert, she slept out in a hammock hanging between the door and a water-oak tree. When her husband comes and asks her to sleep in the room, she stubbornly resists and for many times irritates him. She would, through habit, have yielded to his desires

    (Chopin 41), but this time, she doesnt submit. This is one more step for her sexual

    awakeningnot to be a tool of the husband.

    Edna is so attracted to Robert, his sweetness, his tenderness, his everything. She wants to have an affaire with Robert! For the first time, she confides her love of Robert to Mademoiselle Reize during a small conversation (Chopin 110). After Robert leaves her, she has a small affair with Arobin, and describes her feeling as flaming torch (Chopin

    112). When she kisses Arobin, she feels that kiss is the first kiss of her life to which her

    nature had really responded (Chopin 112). By this time, she has broke a lot of social bonds and she realizeto be the master of her own sex life.

    2.2.2 Spiritual awakening

    Still, after bathing in the sea with Robert, experiencing the sensuous touch of the waves, the spiritual awakening is insinuating into her mind. A visit to Mademoiselle Reizes house, and watching her playing piano and drawing paintings, living in a self-indulgent life, greatly inspire Edna to pursue her own life. She makes a good fortune out of that left by her mother through painting, and established herself a cozy home, nicknamed “pigeon house, where she relieves herself from obligations and adds to her strength and expansion as an individual. She reveals her inner desires little by little through the rebellious deeds one after another. She refuses to do guests reception, and reminisces the old song sang with Robert. When she encounters Robert after his return from Mexico in a suburban garden, she even exclaims that she is no longer one of

    Pontelliers possessions to dispose of or not (Chopin146). She began to look with her

    own eyes, to see and to apprehend deeper undercurrents of life. No longer was she content to feed upon opinions when her souls invited her (Chopin 127). She is in every

    way, jumping out of the traditional housewives roles.

    As a mother, she is not a mother-woman either. With a conversation to Adèle, she conveys her thought that she could abandon something unnecessary, but she will never abandon herself for the children. To Edna, being an independent individual is way more important than being a mother or a wife (Dai 45).

    In short, she establishes her own business, living alone in a petite studio, leaving behind her husband and wife. In every sense, it is really a big step forward reversing the conventional females role in Victorian society. And now, she really comes to spiritual awakening.

    When Robert comes back from Mexico, unveiling his true heart to Edna and even mentioning about her being his wife, when everything goes for the interests of Edna, Robert suddenly departs once again, slashing the last hope of Edna Pontellier. The story ironically steers away from our supposition. The poor Robert, couldnt bear the social

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    gossip and the social bonds, withdrawing like a coward. In contrast, Edna is so bravely challenging the social norms and fighting for her love.

    Nevertheless, destructed, Edna chooses death. She goes far into the sea, listening to the summon from the sea, recalling her husband and children, who need not have thought that they could possess her, body and soul, and Mademoiselle Reize, who addressed herself as an artist but never possess a courageous soul that dares and defies. She goes into the sea with triumph. The sea consoles her body and the death releases her spirit. In another World, she can live a complete life as an independent woman. This is rebirth for

    Edna, because this time she and the nature become one. She neednt worry about social

    responsibilities and social moralities any more. Her only focus is to build up her subject-awareness (Ma Yunxia and Pan Chun 139).

    It is an inevitable tragedy for a woman searching for subject-awareness in the patriarchal Victorian society. The only way for a woman to reach freedom, body and soul is death. In order to get selfhood, women need to trade their lives for the things they long for. This can not be called failure, for it is just a beginning for women getting more of their rights.

    3. The reasons of Ednas awakening

    Ednas awakes from physical to spiritual do not come from thin air. There are many reasons behind it. Based on its similarity with the time expansion of the novel Little

    Women and the feminism concealed in its protagonist Joe, here come three main reasons, which can basically explain the awakening of Edna from subject-unawareness to subject-awareness, namely the social backdrop, Ednas social circles, and Ednas

    characters.

    3.1 Social Backdrop

    Edna was living in the nineteenth century Victorian Age, despite the new conceptions of human rights dramatized by the American and French Revolutions, and the arguments for womens rights eloquently advanced by earlier writers, almost all women were confined by law and custom in some way.

    In the year 1800 and the century followed, a married woman could not own property, even what she might have brought to the marriage as dowry or what she might inherit after her marriage. Furthermore, her husband could, and sometimes did, take his estate away from her, including what had been her own inheritance. Finally, if the husband died in accident, her rights in the joint property were minimal. In addition, a husband could own her all property, and even extend his power to her earning.

    As for a womans children, her husband had sole rights in their guardianship if the couple were separated for any reason, even when the husband cheated on her. An escape from the worst husband for a woman is like boire la mer: until the middle of the

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    nineteenth century, divorce was virtually unobtainable in America. The situation is worsened in the south.

    In addition to the unfair laws and constraints, severe restrictions were imposed upon women by education and social customs. Middle- and upper-class female were restricted in a minimal training in modern languages, drawing, embroidery and music. They lived by guidelines: a lady could not go out alone, especially not in the city and certainly not at night; her days were to be spent supervising her servants, doing needlework, and making or receiving visits, her mind was to be occupied largely with fashion, society, and perhaps to some small extent with charitable projects. The woman did have to bear children and she often bore a great many (Chen 7).

    Edna is growing up in the south, which really imposes many influences over her in the first places, creating her to be subject-unaware. When married to Mr. Pontellier, she is trying to be a socially recognizable wife, a good and attending mother. Her repulses toward Roberts unconscious flirtation, her guilty swimming out with Robert and her admiration for Madam Ratignolle, le meilleur mère dans le monde all reflect her being influenced by the deep-rooted social norms for women.

    3.2 Ednas social circles

    Edna lives in New Orleans where reside the descendants of the mixed blood of French and Spanish (the Creole). The Creole society is a very different from the South America. It infuses with more idealization, tolerance and humanity. When guest in the Lebruns where there are only Creoles that summer, Edna finds it having a characteristic

    which distinguished them and which impressed Mrs. Pontellier most forcibly was their entire absence of prudery. Their freedom of expression was at first incomprehensible to her, though she had no difficulty in reconciling it with a lofty chastity which in the Creole woman seems to be inborn and unmistakable. (Chopin?) Though the Creole

    culture is somewhat conservative, the people living in are still virtuous because they

    satisfy their expectations, not because they defy or elude them. (Chopin?) In other

    words, in Creole culture, she can ignore all its conventions and expectations, yet she bears no social penalty, continuing to enjoy the affection of her friends and the loyalty of her husband. The amicable and relaxing environment gives Edna first taste of freedom and sense of selfhood.

    Unlike Ednas father, the Creole men in The Awakening seem notably free of

    masculine pretensions (Chopin ?). They pursue tedious jobs in the city, earning lots of money, which they devote to their families. They are bourgeois, but scarcely patriarchy

    (Chopin ?). Robert Lebrun is notable for his attentiveness and sweetness. He is good at children and cooking. Alcée Arobin puts on a maids dustcap to help Edna with the work

    of moving. Ednas husband, Léonce Pontellier, scolds Edna once for failing to supervise the house and to receive callers, but he still tries to reconcile the relation between Edna and her sister. In other words, Men frequently accept roles that elsewhere are normally

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    thFemale Growth in the Male-Centered World in 19 Century America

    Analysis of Ednas Awakening Process and Reason in The Awakening

    delegated to women (Chopin ?) . When men are more tolerable about female roles,

    Edna gets more chances to explore the outer world, having contacts with more open and advanced ideas. It facilitates Ednas desire to find her self.

    Then, it comes to Ednas lady friends. The lady influences Edna most is

    Mademoiselle Reisz, who is admired for her music though violates every possible social norms imposed on women by being independent, ill-mannered, single and childless. Her duties of mother-woman are also largely ceremonial with her kids attended by nurses, freeing her from all family responsibilities. In this way, Edna experiences the female freedom from family chores which bring indescribable physical and mental pleasure.

    In conclusion, though Edna is living in an extremely conservative society, which shapes part of her subject-unawareness, the small ouverte Creole culture helps her to open her mind to be an independent individual. The relaxing environment makes Edna quite at ease despite her unfamiliarity with the culture. In this Creole society, Edna could talk whatever comes to her mind, still get respects. In this sense, the open atmosphere helps to raise her subject-awareness.

    3.3 Ednas characters

    Edna has a very contradictory character, as we can conclude from the environment she is living in. Also in The Awakening, Chopin describes Edna as apprehending a dual

    lifethat outward existence, which conforms, the inward life which questions (18).

    This is the ultimate reason for her many contradictory behaviors. Like when Robert asking her taking a bath with him in the water, she refuses with kind utterances, but finally she still couldnt repel the temptation and follows him to the sea.

    Speaking of her friend, Madam Ratignolle, a perfect mother-woman in that society, has an intimate relationship with Edna Pontellier. Madam Ratignolle is not only admired by the neighbors, but also the protagonist Edna. Everything she does appeals very much to her. There is a time when Edna is trying to imitate her, for example, sewing the winter garments for the kids though she is not a big fan for it. Madam Ratignolle stands one side of Edna Pontelliers character.

    The other intimate friend of her, Mademoiselle Reisz, has the opposite character of Madam Ratignolle. She is against all female norms by being independent, ill-mannered and childless. She also frees herself from family bounds, leaving her children attended by the nurse. Nevertheless, Edna can still be quite a friend with her. Her unconformity attitude toward family and the society, to some extent, inspires Edna Pontellier. Ednas

    unconformity part grows stronger and stronger. It is interesting to see, at the beginning, that the two selfs are fighting with each other, but as her conformity part diminishes, and her unconformity part grows, she starts to recognize herself as a human being in the big universe.

    It is undeniable that Robert also helps in shaping Ednas character and only pushing

    her to the extreme. Roberts attentiveness attracts Ednas attention. At first, she feels

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