When Kate Chopin's classic was first published in 1899, charges of sordidness and immorality seemed to consign it into obscurity and irreparably damage its author's reputation. But a century after her death, The Awakening is widely regarded as Kate Chopin's great achievement and a celebrated work of early feminist literature. Through careful, subtle changes of style, Chopin shows the transformation of Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother, who - with tragic consequences - refuses to be caged by married and domestic life, and claims for herself moral and erotic freedom.
Penguin Classics launches a new hardcover series with five American classics that are relevant and timeless in their power, and part of a dynamic and diverse landscape of classic fiction and nonfiction from almost seventy-five years of classics publishing. Penguin Vitae provides readers with beautifully designed classics that have shaped the course of their lives, and welcomes new readers to discover these literary gifts of personal inspiration, intellectual engagement, and creative originality.