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Kate Chopin’s Narrative Techniques and Separate Space in The Awakening

Kate Chopin’s Narrative Techniques and Separate Space in The Awakening Kate Chopin's in The Awakening By Xianfeng Mou In this essay, I approach Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899) from the perspective of Chopin's narrative techniques, especially her dexterous use of free indirect discourse.1 Through this approach, I disentangle the elaborate methods Chopin employed to make her novel fascinating and puzzling. More importantly, I argue that Chopin's purpose behind her techniques was to deliver the first modern American female artist onto the American cultural landscape. By definition, free indirect discourse is a technique that involves "a mixture or merging of character and narrator" in a single utterance (Martin 138 ­ 139).2 An author chooses free indirect discourse to represent what a character is thinking or speaking while simultaneously indicating the narrator's attitude toward the character. For instance, when describing Edna's relationship to her husband Léonce, Chopin's narrator first relates what Edna thinks, then adds her authorial comment: "[Edna] fancied there was a sympathy of thought and taste between them, in which fancy she was mistaken" (Chopin 62; emphasis added). The first half of this statement describes Edna's belief that she and her husband share similar thoughts and tastes. In her opinion they are very compatible. The second half reveals http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Kate Chopin’s Narrative Techniques and Separate Space in The Awakening

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 44 (1) – Feb 17, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English .
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
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Abstract

Kate Chopin's in The Awakening By Xianfeng Mou In this essay, I approach Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899) from the perspective of Chopin's narrative techniques, especially her dexterous use of free indirect discourse.1 Through this approach, I disentangle the elaborate methods Chopin employed to make her novel fascinating and puzzling. More importantly, I argue that Chopin's purpose behind her techniques was to deliver the first modern American female artist onto the American cultural landscape. By definition, free indirect discourse is a technique that involves "a mixture or merging of character and narrator" in a single utterance (Martin 138 ­ 139).2 An author chooses free indirect discourse to represent what a character is thinking or speaking while simultaneously indicating the narrator's attitude toward the character. For instance, when describing Edna's relationship to her husband Léonce, Chopin's narrator first relates what Edna thinks, then adds her authorial comment: "[Edna] fancied there was a sympathy of thought and taste between them, in which fancy she was mistaken" (Chopin 62; emphasis added). The first half of this statement describes Edna's belief that she and her husband share similar thoughts and tastes. In her opinion they are very compatible. The second half reveals

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 17, 2011

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