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The Awakening Kate Chopin Malaspina Great Books.

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1 The Awakening Kate Chopin Malaspina Great Books

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3 Top Ten Reasons Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

4 E: “What do you mean by the courageous soul?” R: “Courageous, ma foi! The brave soul. The soul that dares and defies.” E: “Show me the letter and play for me the Impromptu. You see that I have persistence. Does that quality count for anything in art?” R: “It counts with a foolish old woman whom you have captivated,” replied Mademoiselle Reisz, with her wriggling laugh. (XXI)

5 Mademoiselle played a soft interlude. It was an improvisation. She sat low at the instrument, and the lines of her body settled into ungraceful curves and angles that gave it an appearance of deformity. Gradually and imperceptibly the interlude melted into the soft opening minor chords of the Chopin Impromptu. Edna did not know when the Impromptu began or ended. She sat in the sofa corner reading Robert's letter by the fading light. Mademoiselle had glided from the Chopin into the quivering love- notes of Isolde's song, and back again to the Impromptu with its soulful and poignant longing. The shadows deepened in the little room. The music grew strange and fantastic--turbulent, insistent, plaintive and soft with entreaty. The shadows grew deeper. The music filled the room. It floated out upon the night, over the housetops, the crescent of the river, losing itself in the silence of the upper air. (XXI) Chopin’s Impromptu and Edna’s Awakening

6 "Well, for instance, when I left her today, she put her arms around me and felt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were strong, she said. 'The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.‘ … “ (XXVII) … How Mademoiselle Reisz would have laughed, perhaps sneered, if she knew! "And you call yourself an artist! What pretensions, Madame! The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies.“ (XXXIII)

7 Was Edna an artist? Not in a professional sense but Edna uses imagination to paint images in her mind – images she would love to paint. Mademoiselle Reisz, regards her as an ally in art … Edna demonstrates she has the courage to dare and to fly…

8 Top Ten Reasons Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

9 Elements of a Feminist Argument Edna treated as property by Leonce Edna treated as property by Leonce Leonce is ultimate male chauvinist Leonce is ultimate male chauvinist Leonce accuses Edna of neglect of children Leonce accuses Edna of neglect of children Edna’s “swim” is a symbol of independence Edna’s “swim” is a symbol of independence Edna “awakes” to new awareness of self Edna “awakes” to new awareness of self Breaks vase; stomps on ring; goes out alone Breaks vase; stomps on ring; goes out alone Edna lives alone, etc. Edna lives alone, etc. Society & Robert reject Edna – suicide inevitable Society & Robert reject Edna – suicide inevitable

10 Top Ten Reasons Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

11 But the voices were not soothing that came to her from the darkness and the sky above and the stars. They jeered and sounded mournful notes without promise, devoid even of hope. She felt no interest in anything about her. The street, the children, the fruit vender, the flowers growing there under her eyes, were all part and parcel of an alien world which had suddenly become antagonistic. A vision--a transcendently seductive vision of a Mexican girl arose before her. She writhed with a jealous pang. She wondered when he would come back. He had not said he would come back. She had been with him, had heard his voice and touched his hand. But some way he had seemed nearer to her off there in Mexico. An indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like a mist passing across her soul's summer day.

12 Top Ten Reasons Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

13 Top Ten Reasons Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

14 When she heard It (a musical piece Solitude in a minor key) there came before her imagination the figure of a man standing beside a desolate rock on the seashore. He was naked. His attitude was one of hopeless resignation as he looked toward a distant bird winging its flight away from him. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water. The Naked man - Animus

15 “The animus is the deposit, as it were, of all woman's ancestral experiences of man-and not only that, he is also a creative and procreative being, not in the sense of masculine creativity, but in the sense that he brings forth something we might call... the spermatic word.” [Jung]

16 Animus Development Animus Development 1. Appearance in fantasy of male power (naked man) 2. Animus provides capacity to act (decision to move out) 3. Animus possession – the “word” (projection onto Robert) 4. Animus as Daemon – spiritual voice (mediator of all else) “ah! si tu savais ce que tes yeux me disent” = ah! if you knew what your eyes say to me

17 Farther down, before one of the cottages, a lady in black was walking demurely up and down, telling her beads. (V) The lady in black was reading her morning devotions on the porch of a neighboring bath- house. Two young lovers were exchanging their hearts' yearnings beneath the children's tent, which they had found unoccupied. (VII) The lady in black, creeping behind them, looked a trifle paler and more jaded than usual. (VIII) The Lady in Black - Symbolism

18 The lovers, who had laid their plans the night before, were already strolling toward the wharf. The lady in black, with her Sunday prayer-book, velvet and gold-clasped, and her Sunday silver beads, was following them at no great distance. (XII) The lovers were all alone. They saw nothing, they heard nothing. The lady in black was counting her beads for the third time. (XII) He (Mr. Farival) whispered an anxious inquiry of the lady in black, who did not notice him or reply, but kept her eyes fastened upon the pages of her velvet prayer-book. (XIII)

19 (Beginning of Awakening) An indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like a mist passing across her soul's summer day. (III) Lady in Black and the Lovers are like “shadow figures,” never developed; they can represent the process of awakening. The Lady in Black represents an old stultifying religious attitude. The Lovers represent the early stage of infatuation with her husband. Neither of these attitudes will prevail. These juxtaposed images are the restricting and unrealistic aspects of a life Edna is leaving behind. Interpretation of Lady in Black Symbolism

20 Top Ten Reasons Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

21 The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace. (V) … The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet, and coiled like serpents about her ankles. She walked out. The water was chill, but she walked on. The water was deep, but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long, sweeping stroke. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace. (XXXIX)

22 Top Ten Reasons Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

23 She thought of Léonce and the children. They were a part of her life. But they need not have thought that they could possess her, body and soul. (XXXIII)

24 Top Ten Reasons Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

25 Suicide “in vogue” Madame Bovery’ (1857): Emma Madame Bovery’ (1857): Emma Anna Karenina (1875): Anna Anna Karenina (1875): Anna Tess of the Ubervilles (1891): Tess Tess of the Ubervilles (1891): Tess Awakening (1899): Edna Awakening (1899): Edna Mill on the Floss (1917): Maggie Mill on the Floss (1917): Maggie

26 Top Ten Reasons Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

27 Top Ten Reasons 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

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29 "What has happened is -- now you all have to turn your brains around -- the greatest work of art there has ever been. That minds could achieve something in one act, which we in music cannot even dream of, that people rehearse like crazy for ten years, totally fanatically for one concert, and then die. This is the greatest possible work of art in the entire cosmos." - Karlheinz Stockhausen

30 The Sea as Nature God …the everlasting voice of the sea, that was not uplifted at that soft hour. It broke like a mournful lullaby upon the night…” (III) …Her glance wandered from his face away toward the Gulf, whose sonorous murmur reached her like a loving but imperative entreaty. …”(V) The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. (VI) …of a summer day in Kentucky, of a meadow that seemed as big as the ocean to the very little girl walking through the grass … She threw out her arms as if swimming … “Oh, I see the connection now!"… " during one period of my life religion took a firm hold upon me … I suppose until now … sometimes I feel this summer as if I were walking through the green meadow again; idly, aimlessly, unthinking and unguided.“ (VII) …As she swam she seemed to be reaching out for the unlimited in which to lose herself. … (X)

31 Animus (Robert) Directs Edna to Seek the God of the Sea “On the twenty-eighth of August, at the hour of midnight, and if the moon is shining--the moon must be shining--a spirit that has haunted these shores for ages rises up from the Gulf. With its own penetrating vision the spirit seeks some one mortal worthy to hold him company, worthy of being exalted for a few hours into realms of the semi-celestials. His search has always hitherto been fruitless, and he has sunk back, disheartened, into the sea. But to-night he found Mrs. Pontellier. Perhaps he will never wholly release her from the spell. Perhaps she will never again suffer a poor, unworthy earthling to walk in the shadow of her divine presence." "Don't banter me," she said, wounded at what appeared to be his flippancy. He did not mind the entreaty, but the tone with its delicate note of pathos was like a reproach. He could not explain; he could not tell her that he had penetrated her mood and understood. (X)

32 Emerson’s God? Then Edna sat in the library after dinner and read Emerson until she grew sleepy. She realized that she had neglected her reading, and determined to start anew upon a course of improving studies, now that her time was completely her own to do with as she liked. (XXIV) Emerson: “We distinguish the announcements of the soul, its manifestations of its own nature, by the term Revelation. These are always attended by the emotion of the sublime. For this communication is an influx of the Divine mind into our mind. It is an ebb of the individual rivulet before the flowing surges of the sea of life.”

33 Edna’s Nature = Emerson’s Nature? Emerson: “Idealism sees the world in God; it beholds the whole circle of persons and things, of actions and events, of country and religion, not as painfully accumulated, atom after atom, act after act, in an aged creeping Past, but as one vast picture, which God paints on the instant eternity, for the contemplation of the soul” Nature.

34 Redemption through Sacrifice and Suffering "'There was a graven image of Desire Painted with red blood on a ground of gold.'" (XXX) - by Algernon Charles Swinburne murmured Gouvernail, under his breath. Algernon Charles Swinburne ( )

35 There was a graven image of Desire Painted with red blood on a ground of gold Pain Pleasure Satiety Hate There was a graven image of Desire Painted with red blood on a ground of gold Passing between the young men and the old, And by him Pain, whose body shone like fire, And Pleasure with gaunt hands that grasped their hire. Of his left wrist, with fingers clenched and cold, The insatiable Satiety kept hold, Walking with feet unshod that pashed the mire. The senses and the sorrows and the sins, And the strange loves that suck the breasts of Hate Till lips and teeth bite in their sharp indenture, Followed like beasts with flap of wings and fins. Death stood aloof behind a gaping grate, Upon whose lock was written Peradventure. Cameo Algernon Charles Swinburne

36 Anactoria I feel thy blood against my blood; my pain Pains thee, and lips bruise lips, and vein stings vein. Let fruit be crushed on fruit, let flower on flower Breast kindle breast, and either burn one hour. Why wilt thou follow lesser loves? are thine Too weak to bear these hands and lips of mine? … Nor any memory of thee anywhere; Thee too the years shall cover; thou shalt be As the rose born of one same blood with thee, As a song sung, as a word said, and fall Flower-wise, and be not any more at all, Nor any memory of thee anywhere;... Brand them with immortality Yea, thou shalt be forgotten like spilt wine, Except these kisses of my lips on thine Brand them with immortality; … Algernon Charles Swinburne

37 Anactoria Anactoria Sappho Yes, Atthis, you may be sure Even in Sardis Anactoria will think often of us of the life we shared here, when you seemed the Goddess incarnate to her and your singing pleased her best Now among Lydian women she in her turn stands first as the red- fingered moon rising at sunset takes precedence over stars around her; her light spreads equally on the salt sea and fields thick with bloom Delicious dew pours down to freshen roses, delicate thyme and blossoming sweet clover; she wanders aimlessly, thinking of gentle Atthis, her heart hanging heavy with longing in her little breast She shouts aloud, Come! we know it; thousand-eared night repeats that cry across the sea shining between us

38 Souls on the Banks of the River Styx, Burne- Jones, c.1873

39 Study for Souls on the Banks of the River Styx

40 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

41 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

42 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

43 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

44 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

45 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

46 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

47 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

48 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

49 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

50 And the Winner is? 1. Suicide as Redemption 2. Act as Inconsistent and Inappropriate 3. Suicide as Justice 4. Motherhood Denied 5. Mythic Interpretation – Sea as Lover 6. Jungian Interpretation & Symbolisms 7. Edna is Pregnant 8. Edna is Unbalanced 9. Suicide as Feminist Despair 10. Suicide as an Artist’s Statement

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