In The Awakening (1899), Kate Chopin introduces Edna Pontellier, the wife of a New Orleans businessman and mother of two. Despite her conventional roles as spouse and mother, Edna struggles with romantic feelings and sexual desires that ultimately lead to her own independence. The novel was quite controversial when published in 1899; Chopin was ostracized immediately after its publication.
Featured in our collection of 25 Great American Novels and Feminist Literature - Study Guide. If you have not read it, please take the time to enjoy Chopin's masterful short story, The Story of An Hour