Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesdays - 'The Awakening' by Kate Chopin

Sometimes you run into a book that has you completely fascinated with every single page. I read the book I'm using today on my train journey from London back to university and afterwards I had to take multiple moments to myself. There is something incredibly about Chopin's writing style and I decided to really get into it today!  Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesdays is hosted over at A Daily Rhythm.

This week I am using The Awakening by Kate Chopin and yes, I shamelessly used a picture of my own copy for this post because it's stunning. If ever a cover design was perfect, then this is it. All the praise goes to Rafaela Romaya for that.

First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, "The Awakening" has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threated to consumer her. Originally entitled "A Solitary Soul, " this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman in search of self-discovery turns away from convention and society, and toward the primal, from convention and society, and toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature and the senses "The Awakening," Kate Chopin's last novel, has been praised by Edmund Wilson as "beautifully written." And Willa Cather described its style as "exquisite, " "sensitive, " and "iridescent."
I knew I would find this book interesting but I didn't know it would be quite as moving and stunning as it was. 

Intro:
'A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over: "Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!" He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mockingbird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty notes out upon the breeze with maddening persistence.
Mr. Pontellier, unable to read his newspaper with any degree of comfort, arose with an expression and exclamation of disgust. He walked down the gallery and across the narrow "bridges" which connected the Lebrun cottages one with the other. He had been seated before the door of the main house. The parrot and the mockingbird were the property of Madame Lebrun, and they had the right to make all the noise they wished. Mr. Pontellier had the privilege of  quitting their society when they seized to be entertaining.' p.1-2
What I love about this beginning is that Chopin decides to  confront the archetypal image of the caged bird from the very beginning. The parrot's words, roughly, means 'Go away' while 'Sapristi' means something like 'Goof heavens!'. The beauty of using parrots in books is that the reader knows that this bird will have picked up those phrases in and around the house.  What I enjoyed most myself is the 'maddening persistence' of the mockingbird. He will keep whistling his tune until he can't anymore and doesn't stop for anyone. Although it's not exactly foreshadowing, it is definitely a theme in the book.
TeaserTuesdays2014e
Teaser:
'He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.' p.142-3
I know I shouldn't really pick a teaser but rather find one at random, but I simply love the quote above. One of the things that was interesting about The Awakening  was that Chopin didn't pretend that Mrs. Montpellier would find "herself" or even find any kinds of answers once she started to discover herself. Rather, there is a constant struggle within Mrs. Montpellier and within the novel, and it is for this very reason that The Awakening is utterly fascinating.

The review for this book will be something along the lines of this post as well since I really loved this novel. I can totally see how it has remained one of the classics for so long. So, what are you teasing with?

20 comments:

  1. That said the bird could speak a little Spanish, but it was speaking French,,, oh, how I laughed. The irony.

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  2. This book sounds interesting! I like how the bird could apparently speak French, and then ended up speaking Spanish!

    Here's my Teaser.

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  3. I'm sorry to say that this is not a book I've read yet. And I've known about it for years and years. Thanks for highlighting it. I love that cover design.

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  4. This post reminds me that a reread. is overdue... love your cover art!

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  5. I am not too familiar with this book, but I can see why you would be drawn to it. It sounds like worthwhile read. I love the teaser you shared. I will have to look for this one.

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  6. Kate Chopin is definitely a classic. Glad you found her.

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  7. Ah, I love the analogy of the caged bird and the plight of women for centuries....and love a story about how an individual woman struggles to find herself. Thanks for sharing. And that is a gorgeous cover!

    And thanks for visiting my blog.

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  8. A gorgeous cover-- I am a lover of cover art! I can't believe that this is an American classic about a woman coming into her own and yet I never heard of it. Shame on me. I like the foreshadowing of the parrot. Yes, women in that era could be likened to caged birds, thanks.

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  9. I've heard of this book but have never read it. Sounds like I need to! I'm adding it to my TBR list right now.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. I always look forward to your thoughtful comments.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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  10. Since I think the job of the teasers is to entice others to read the book, I have no problem with non-random teasers. I think they actually serve us better.

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  11. I'm trying to remember if I read this one in high school or not...I feel like I might have. I'd keep reading...

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  12. Your love of this book has me very interested.

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  13. I read this book when I was in college and remember how much I loved it then. I still have the book on my shelf. Your post makes me want to read it again! I love Kate Chopin's short stories as well.

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  14. Totally new to me read there! Nice teaser too! Hope you enjoy the rest!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

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  15. I remember reading this book years ago. I found it very thought-provoking.

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  16. I came across this book almost by accident years ago and it certainly gave me plenty to think about - your opening has me wanting to take another look. Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/first-chapter-first-paragraph-april-14/comment-page-1/#comment-12080

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  17. Another book I have always meant to read. Your passion is addictive, on the tbr list it goes.

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  18. Such praise for this book. I must read it soon!

    My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/04/14/teasers-tuesdays-110-shelf-life-the-publicist-book-two/

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  19. I don't really know much about classics but I've heard good things about this one.

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  20. It's a beautiful, beautiful novel, I read it and absolutely loved it. Sometimes I forget a bout the books I've read, but this one, I haven't ;)

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