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Gussow ENG 224 Week 4 Notes

by: Zoe Notetaker

Gussow ENG 224 Week 4 Notes Eng 224

Marketplace > University of Mississippi > English > Eng 224 > Gussow ENG 224 Week 4 Notes
Zoe Notetaker
GPA 3.86

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About this Document

These notes cover Professor Gussow's week 4 lectures. In class, he went over The Awakening in great detail (which i one of the book options for the paper assignment). There is also a link to the su...
Survey of American Lit Since Civil War
Adam Gussow
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Zoe Notetaker on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Eng 224 at University of Mississippi taught by Adam Gussow in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Survey of American Lit Since Civil War in English at University of Mississippi.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
Professor Adam Gussow  Eng 224  Week 4 Notes    The Awakening by Kate Chopin (1899)  Summary Link: ​ ttp://  High concept description: “Well­bred wife of turn of the century new orleans businessman has  spiritual and sexual awakening during summer vacation in steamy Gulf Coast resort, struggles  to free herself from marriage and motherhood after return to the Big Easy, and finally­ tragically­  commits suicide by walking into the sea.”  Setting (grand isle vacation area) helps contribute to the awakening  Black characters on the Awakening are nameless and faceless  *A literary work can be progressive with respect to gender and retrograde with respect to race*  It was written in genteel in style, but vernacular in matters of morals, religion, and sexuality  ● The vernacular voice can be found in:  ○ The sea  ○ Birds chattering  ○ Music  ○ Voice of desire (Edna’s sexual hunger)  ○ Vernacular voices as subaltern voices    Edna Pontellier  Seen as a modern woman gone bad; the archetype of a woman who almost achieves liberation;  more handsome than she is pretty  ● “To swim out, where no woman had swum before”  ○ Aspires to go to hell like Huck Finn  ● Undergoes a multitude of awakenings including sexual, independency, oppressed by  men/husband  ○ No religious awakening (she even almost falls asleep in church)  ○ After her awakening, she views herself as a subject rather than an object  ■ Has a voice  ■ Has an independent living space  ■ Self­directed/determined  ■ Has interior thoughts, desires, and feeling  ● Edna and Leonce:  ○ Edna feels like she is supposed to obey him; he thinks of her as his object and  possession  ○ “Traps” her  ○ No passion between the two, but Edna has feelings for many others  ● Edna feels ​subservien​ elow and in service to others  ● Before her awakening, she was a depressed, inarticulate object  ● Does not fit into society  ○ Not a mother­woman  Adele Ratignolle  Seen as a perfect example of a woman in her sphere; She is beautiful and candid  ● Supreme example of the mother  ● Only one hobby as to not disturb her duties such as cleaning and taking care of children  ● Opposite of Edna, but crucial to her awakening  ○ Very expressive and uses touch to communicate    Mademoiselle Raisz  Example of a female artist, a crone (postmenopausal independent man), and she is outside the  woman's sphere  ● Preserved her independence by not marrying  ● Her music helps awaken Edna  ● Offers an alternative to wife/motherhood to Edna  ● Seen as a spiritual mother for Edna    Robert Leburn  Early he helps awaken Edna with conversation and attention, later he awakens her power and  sexuality  ● His absence creates desire  ● His failure: he insists on following rules of patriarchy, he saw Edna as Leonces property    Huck Finn and the Awakening    Huckleberry Finn:  Awakening:  ● Comic  ● Tragic  ● Anti­Romantic  ● Romantic  ● “Boy’s Book”  ● Rated R  ● Mississippi River = freedom is out  ● Gulf of Mexico = freedom is out there  there  ● Dissatisfaction  ● Restlessness  ● Oppressed by patriarchy and her  ● Oppressed by his father  husband      Themes  ● Freedom/Liberation  ● Fathers (men & patriarchy)  ● Race and gender  ● Vernacular Voice  ● Individuality 


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