Permalink for this paragraph 0 Before Friday’s class discussion, I had never diverged into queer theory. Actually, I had never even heard of queer theory until Dr. Pennington’s Fairytales class last spring. Even then, we only briefly mentioned it and did not expand.
Permalink for this paragraph 1 Queer theory is rather new, beginning in the 1990′s but I think it is extremely important to understanding literature because of it’s focus on gay and lesbian behavior.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Recently, I’ve started re-reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I read it first in AP English in Mr. Bal’s class my senior year of high school. I loved The Awakening and I believe I was alone in that. Most students in the class thought it was weird and to be honest, 85% of the class did not read it.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 I digress.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 As I re-read Chopin’s work, I have been reading it with queer theory in mind.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Edna Pontellier is the protagonist of the story which takes place in Creole culture Louisiana.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Edna “awakens” from her boring life as a mother and wife to a wealthy Creole businessman. In her “awakening” she discovers her dissatisfaction in her life sexually and emotionally. The book does contain a male character named Robert LeBrun who the reader is led to believing Edna is in love with, but Chopin never specifically has Edna make any claims of love for Robert.
Permalink for this paragraph 1 In the novel, Edna has some close relations with women such as Adèle Ratignolle, a figure of femininity and motherhood. Edna and Adèle spend a lot of time together on warm, summer days. Could there be any feelings of intimacy between the women? Out of all the characters, Edna seems to enjoy spending time with Adèle the most and when first describing Adèle, Edna’s description is almost sexual.
Permalink for this paragraph 1 I could be stretching it, but I think it’s great I now have a base knowledge of Queer Theory and am able to make connections like this.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 If you’ve read The Awakening please let me know what you think.