If you look closely, one can find the exact opposite of what Chopin intended, a case for male oppression by a female, something most feminists would not want in their work at all.
If you read the Awakening, you may not pick up on it. In fact, you may glance right over the fact. Who would suspect to see something about women's oppression over men in such a pro-feminism book Look a little more closely, and the story of Leonce Pontellier comes into focus. During this huge period of change within Edna, how did she act towards her unknowing husband Oh, yeah. Not only was Edna committing adultery on her poor husband, she was running around town chasing after another man. It was only Robert himself who was able to stop Edna from committing further physical adultery against her husband, who had been kind and trusting enough to have let Edna alone as she wished.
Also, when Edna started acting strange, the first thing Leonce did was try to get her help. When talking to the doctor, all he wanted was to make sure Edna would be ok, and he was willing to do anything he could to make sure she was comfortable and happy. He tells the doctor how he didn't want to "quarrel or be rude to a women" and how he felt like "ten thousand devils" at getting upset with her (page 86). Are these the words of a women hating oppressive snob No, they are the words of a caring, worried husband. And how were these sentiments returned She walked all over his trust and compassion, and ended up taking her own life, leaving him alone.
So, while Edna may have been oppressed by the suffocating women hating culture of the time, she was taking her own share in the emotional suppression of her innocent caring husband.
I think anyone can agree with that one. While Edna may have been oppressed, that didn't make it right for her to make man the "fellow victim", and oppress the very people she was trying to be liberated from.
Seeing the paradox here Kate Chopin may not admit it, but she ended up portraying the exact opposite of what she really intended to. In a feminist piece of literature, written to put women on a altar, and to raise the rallying cry, one can actually discern from Chopin's words
Kate Chopin uses this book to try to exemplify the needs of women, and their oppression by men; however she totally ignores the other side of the argument. She does not take into account the other side of the story at all, and totally slants her portrayal of her female characters in her book. While there is some merit to her claims, her claims are typical of the feminist nature, to only see one side, and to seek oppression over men instead of their self proclaimed and preached freedom.
Chopin would have us think different however. Because as any good women should know, men cannot function on their own. They would be shocked to see a man cook, clean, or even do any sublime task that was not sitting in front of the television vegetating. To see men display intelligence, in small matters, or in large ones, now that is simply shocking isn't it
Now I like TV. as much as the next guy. However, I also take cooking classes, perform just as well, if not better than most of the girl's in my classes, but still the stereotype stands. The stereotypical man is a lazy, obese man, sleeping on the recliner passed out, and anything the rest of us try to do about