Novel Study: The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Unit Goal:

Write an analytical essay that examines the ways in which post-Civil War writers use the elements of REALISM to present and emphasize a variety of themes in response to industrialization, urban growth, and social change.

Essential Questions:

  1. How did REALISM effect the analysis and depictions of gender relations in LITERATURE
  2. How does KATE CHOPIN use REALISM’S ideas and features in her novel, The Awakening?

TERMS: Realism, Naturalism, Regionalism, Psychological Realism, objectivity, determinism, Darwinism, heredity, patriarchy, archetype, character, character traits, protagonist, antagonist, setting, imagery, conflict, resolution, theme.


Objective 1: Kate Chopin’s Historical Context

I.  Pre-Reading:Introduction to Kate Chopin: Kate Chopin International Society Website

II.  Reading:Declaration of Sentiments

III.  Post Reading: Discuss what effects would historical events such as the Seneca Falls Convention and its documents have on Realist writers and their subjects?

Objective 2: Explore Archetype, Symbolism and Theme in Realist Literature

By reading and annotating Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, students will be able to 1.) evaluate philosophical attitudes and views of American Realist literature and 2.) identify Realist features of objectivity, determinism, nature’s indifference 3.) analyze the use of symbolism and archetype to convey theme.

I. Pre-reading:The Awakening Video Preview

II. Reading: The Awakening by Kate Chopin (.pdf), Reading Schedule, Summarize Chapters

III. Post-ReadingThe Awakening and Learning to Swim by Barbara Kingsolver: Socratic Seminar Evaluation Form

Objective 3: Write an Analytical Essay

I.  Pre-Writing: Realism Timed Write Prep Tool

II.  Writing: Rubric

III.  Essay Evaluation