Any performer can tell you that sometimes the opinions of critics and fans feel good, and sometimes they can be a real slap in the face. At this point in the course, there should be no slaps in the face, only helpful and supportive colleague and Faculty review of your writing. Sometimes how you react to a review is based on how you choose to receive and use it. Colleague and Faculty review should be useful and constructive, although that does not mean it is all positive. It means that it should highlight the positive while also making meaningful suggestions for improvement. When you review your colleagues’ writing, be thoughtful, compassionate, and informative. When you read others’ reviews, try to be open minded, resilient, and discerning. Ultimately, the writer decides what, if any, critique to accept and to incorporate into the final draft. Be sure to provide attribution
minimum of three readings from the full suite of readings associated with my study on mental health case study, including one book/media resource associated with each case study and two additional articles of your choice
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Pontelliers, residents of New Orleans, are vacationing at Grand Isle, a resort in the Gulf of Mexico. The Lebrun and Ratignolle families, also Creoles of New Orleans, are companions of Edna, who is unhappy with the limited role dictated to her by her husband Léonce. Madame Lebrun’s caged parrot symbolizes Edna’s feeling of being trapped in a loveless marriage and in an economically oriented social system in which women are only wives and mothers. Her husband expects her to be like Adèle Ratignolle, who exemplifies the type of submissive and sacrificial wife that Léonce expects and thinks he deserves. Edna, however, is not willing to submit to such traditions or to sacrifice herself for the sake of her husband and their two sons.When Léonce notices that Edna was sunburned after spending a time on the beach with Robert Lebrun, his main concern is that a “valuable piece of personal property . . . suffered some damage.” In contrast to her husband’s business-based value system, Robert offers her companionship and sympathy. She talks to him of her girlhood in Kentucky. Meanwhile, Léonce complains about her “habitual neglect of the children.” Edna realizes that she can never be a good mother like Adèle if it means stifling her independence. “A certain light was beginning to dawn” in Edna that nurtures her dissatisfaction with her life and leads her to recognize that her marriage to the forty-year-old businessman (twelve years her senior) is a mistake. She was flattered by Léonce’s devotion to her, but the violent opposition to the marriage by her father and her sister Margaret (because Léonce was a Catholic) may have been Edna’s prime motive in marrying. Léonce belongs to another culture, a French American society quite different from the strict Presbyterian environment of Kentucky. One thing, however, is the same in both worlds. Women are regarded as necessary but inferior beings whose place is in the home.
Edna, who is interested in the arts, is introduced to Mademoiselle Reisz, a noted pianist. While the latter plays, Edna envisions a naked man in an attitude of resignation as he watches a bird fly away from him. The music inspires Edna to a sense of power, and, when the party moves to the beach, she overcomes her fear of the water and learns to swim. Gaining confidence, Edna challenges her husband by refusing his sexual entreaty. By withholding herself sexually, she feels that she is in possession of her body.
One Sunday, Edna asks Robert to attend church with her on a neighboring island. During the service, however, she flees from the stifling atmosphere of the church, much like the time in Kentucky when as a child she ran away from the Presbyterian prayers that were “read in a spirit of gloom” by her father. She believes that the churches are part of the status quo that keep women in their places. At the end of the Grand Isle vacation, Robert goes to Mexico. His departure depresses Edna, but it does not impair her rebellious nature. She tells Mademoiselle Reisz that she will not sacrifice herself for anyone, even her children. When the family returns to New Orleans, Edna’s first act of nonconformity is to ignore Reception Day. Léonce is amazed that his wife does not observe the tradition. It is not just a social convention, it is business. He angrily leaves to have dinner at his club. Edna throws her wedding ring on the carpet and breaks a vase on the hearth. In a rebellious mood, Edna visits Mademoiselle Reisz. Edna discusses her attempt to paint, to become an artist. The pianist declares that an artist needs a courageous soul, a “soul that dared and defied.”
Meanwhile, Léonce complains to Dr. Mandelet about the change in Edna, particularly her sexual withdrawal. She even refuses to go to her sister’s wedding. The doctor advises him to let Edna have her way for a while. Edna’s father, a Kentucky colonel, arrives in New Orleans to buy a wedding present for Janet, his daughter. The real purpose for the visit is to coerce Edna into attending Janet’s wedding, but Edna still refuses to go. Fond of bourbon, of horses, and of women who know their domestic duties, Edna’s father angrily leaves. Soon after, Léonce leaves on one of his many business trips, and his mother takes the children to Iberville. Edna is happy to be alone. For inspiration, she reads Ralph Waldo Emerson, the famous champion of self-reliance and nonconformity. Edna, in a bold act of independence, decides to move out of her husband’s house, ignoring his letter of disapproval in which he claims he is “simply thinking of his financial integrity.” Before she leaves, she has a dinner party. One of the guests, Alcée Arobin, begins to court Edna. In the absence of Robert, Edna responds to Arobin’s sexual advances. She had not heard from Robert since he went to Mexico. When Robert returns, he avoids her. One day, they meet accidentally, but he seems distant and uninterested. Arobin, on the other hand, continues to visit her. Another chance meeting with Robert occurs, however, and he confesses that he loves her and that he avoids her because she belongs to another. Edna says that she is no longer one of Mr. Pontellier’s possessions. They make plans to meet again.
In the meantime, Edna helps Dr. Mandelet while Adèle is giving birth, an act that gives Edna a sense of dread. She explains to Mandelet that she wants nothing but her own way, even if it means trampling on the hearts and prejudices of others. He is unable to understand the depth of her commitment to finding a life of her own. Edna goes to her little house, around the corner from the big house on Esplanade Street, expecting Robert to be there. Instead, she finds a note: “I love you. Good-bye—because I love you.” She realizes that the man she loves is not as brave as she is. She also realizes that she has another major decision to make. Grand Isle beckons to Edna again. She walks to the beach, to the seductive voice of the sea. She sees a bird with a broken wing descend to the water. She thinks about the courageous soul and about Robert’s note and his failure to understand. Edna swims far into the ocean until her strength is gone. It is too late to go back.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Kate Chopin. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. Print.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.” New York: Chelsea House, 2008. Print.
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