The Awakening Teaching Guide
- 11 pages
- Subject: Allusion, Historical Context, Plot, Themes, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
- Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
So you’re going to teach Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. Whether it’s your first or hundredth time, this classic text has been a mainstay of English classrooms for generations. While it has its challenging spots, teaching this text to your class will be rewarding for you and your students. It will give them unique insight into conflict, symbolism, and realism in an influential work of fiction, and important themes surrounding free will, sexism, and the search for self.
About This Document
Owl Eyes Teaching Guides have been designed to help first-time and veteran teachers open up classic works of literature for their students. Our guides provide rich background information, identify key themes and topics, and offer creative and practical approaches to teaching the text.
The main components of each guide include the following:
- A concise history of the text
- An explanation of significant allusions
- Teaching approaches and discussion questions
- Tricky issues to address while teaching
- Alternative teaching approaches
- A list of complementary texts
These Teaching Guides offer valuable context and promote meaningful discussions about novels, plays, poems, and stories that have captivated English Language Arts students for generations. Each guide is comprehensive and concise, thought-provoking and practical.
Approaches and Discussion Questions Excerpt
Adéle Ratignolle and Mlle. Reisz as Foils for Edna: Adéle Ratignolle and Mlle. Reisz occupy opposite ends of the spectrum between conformity and nonconformity; Edna wavers in the middle. Adéle Ratignolle is the embodiment of the mother-woman. She has foregone the pursuit of independence in service to a life devoted to her husband and her children. Mlle. Reisz lives only for her music. Single, unattractive, and foul-tempered, she represents the woman who has never married or had children. She lives the life of a woman doomed to live alone by not following societal conventions. Edna wants the love of a man without having to give up her life in service to him, and she wants to be true to herself and her art but does not want to be an outcast.
- For discussion: How do Adéle’s and Mlle. Reisz’s lives differ? What does each gain by her choices? What does each miss out on?
- For discussion: How does Edna’s life compare to Adéle’s? To Mlle. Reisz’s? What price does Edna pay for living her life as she chooses?
- For discussion: How does society influence personal desire? Is it possible to fully reconcile one’s personal desires with society’s expectations?