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Edna’s Self Predicament in The Awakening

Wenjing Cheng


The Awakening reveals women’s struggle and predicament in the pursuit of self. With the help of William James’ Self
theory, this paper will analyze the representation and relationship of the protagonist Edna’s self predicament from her material self,
social self and spiritual self, and then explore the reasons of her death and the importance of balancing different selves.


The Awakening; Kate Chopin; Self predicament

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[1] Barney, William L,ed. A Companion to 19th-century America. Malden: Blackwell, 2001.

[2] Chopin, Kate. The Awakening, edited by Nancy A. Walker. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993.

[3] Gray, Jennifer B. “The Escape of the ‘Sea’: Ideology and ‘The Awakening.’” The Southern Literary Journal, vol. 37, no. 1, University of North Carolina Press, 2004, pp. 53–73.

[4] James, William. The Principles of Psychology. Harvard University Press, 1890.

[5] Jones, Anne Goodwyn. Tomorrow is Another Day: The Women Writer in the South, 1859-1963. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1981.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v6i15.5212