| V-Chip.Org | Audio Books Home | Fiction Audio Books | Action & Adventure | Classics | Comedy | Detective | Erotica | Foreign Language | General | Historical |

| Horror & Suspense | Religious | Romance | Sci-Fi & Fantasy | Short Stories | Thriller | War & Military | Western |

Download Audio Books from our partner company Talking Bookstore


WWW v-chip


Awakening, The
Play Windows Media Sample  Play Real Sample

Awakening, The

Written By : Kate Chopin
Narrated By : Liza Ross
Published By : NAXOS
Runtime : 2 hours 40 minutes
Categories : General
Download Price : $11.49

This is the moving and powerful story of Edna Pontellier, a beautiful young wife and mother who discovers her true feelings and identity through her love for Robert Lebrun, and in so doing challenges the bourgeois assumptions of her day. First published in 1899 in America, it prompted shock and outrage, but has since come to be recognised as a modern classic.

The 'discovery' of The Awakening dates roughly from the 1940's, since when it has been enthusiastically studied by numerous American academics, who have rightly found in it extraordinary qualities: it is beautifully written and constructed, highly sensitive and perceptive in its psychology, and pioneering in its feminist agenda.

The Awakening was Chopin's last novel: published in 1899, it prompted a national scandal and (apparently) discouraged its author from further attempts at longer fiction. Only a few years before, Thomas Hardy in England had been similarly discouraged by the reception of Jude the Obscure, but one is entitled in both cases to wonder whether in fact both writers had reached a defining moment with their novels: both have something of a 'manifesto' quality, offering defiantly radical and provocative attacks on social norms, attacks which were inevitably going to stimulate an outraged response.

Chopin's target is the conventional bourgeois idea of woman's role within marriage, where decorative subservience to husband and devotion to the maternal role are absolute requirements. What makes the novel remarkable (amongst other things) is the subtlety with which this attack is developed: just as the heroine Edna Pontellier is slow to realise consciously what is happening to her at an instinctive level, so the reader is slow to draw conclusions about any of the characters, all of whom are depicted with sympathetic understanding - even, for instance, the dull but well-meaning husband who can hardly help viewing Edna as a possession and is genuinely baffled by the changes he witnesses in her as the narrative unfolds: thus the feminist theme which Chopin develops is set in a fully and persuasively realised context, from the flawless treatment of character to the finely-realised descriptions of Grand Isle. Nevertheless, much of what Chopin has to say must have been unavoidably shocking in its day, and perhaps even now to more conventional readers - take, for example, the challenge Edna offers to conventional views of motherhood when she says that 'the children appeared before her like antagonists who had overcome her, who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the soul's slavery for the rest of her days'. Yet she is also passionately fond of her little boys: of such paradoxes and complexity is real life made up, and Chopin expresses this repeatedly in the acuteness of her insight.

Sophisticated, too, is the writer's handling of image, symbol and structure. The sea is perhaps the image which binds the novel's themes and narrative together: the story begins and ends at Grand Isle, where the sea's seductive sensuality comes to represent Edna's own growing awareness of her sensual self - her 'liberation' begins when she learns how to swim and overcomes her previous 'ungovernable dread' of the water. Music, too, is important: Mademoiselle Reisz, herself an artist, an 'outsider', plays music in which the deepest feelings are articulated at last for Edna - 'perhaps [for] the first time her being was tempered to take an impress of the abiding truth'.

The Awakening, then, is a novel which both works supremely well as a love story of poignant intensity and as a powerful corrective to the unthinking oppression of women's individuality. Edna has been used to living 'the dual life - that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions. ' However bleak the ending of the novel may seem, Edna's triumph has been to break out of the 'dual life' and into the freedom of living as her deepest impulses tell her she should.

Other titles you may be interested in

Tara Road

Tara Road

Written By : Maeve Binchy
Narrated By : Kate Binchy
Published By : Orion Publishing Group
Runtime : 6 hours
Categories : General
Download Price : $15.49
When Danny Lynch tells his wife Ria that he has a young pregnant mistress, Ria thinks that her world has ended. Little does she know that within weeks a telephone call from America... See full description...
Ice Queen

Ice Queen

Written By : Alice Hoffman
Narrated By : Nancy Travis
Published By : Hachette Audio
Runtime : 6 hours
Categories : General
Download Price : $26.98 $18.99
A magical story of passion, loss and renewal. See full description...
Teaching of Little Crow, The: the journey of the soul

Teaching of Little Crow, The: the journey of the soul

Written By : Angelina Heart
Narrated By : Full-cast production with narration by author
Published By : Heart Flame Publishing
Runtime : 18 hours
Categories : Contemporary
Religion & Spiritual
Sex & Relationships
Personal Growth
Download Price : $58.40 $26.95
Are TWIN FLAME/SOUL MATE relationships real? This romantic tale reveals the answer and the sacred teachings regarding spiritual requirements each soul must meet to rise to Love’s True Standard. See full description...
All He Ever Wanted

All He Ever Wanted

Written By : Anita Shreve
Narrated By : Dennis Boutsikaris
Published By : Hachette Audio
Runtime : 9 hours
Categories : General
Download Price : $32.98 $23.25
The newest novel from one of America's best-loved and bestselling novelists - Anita Shreve See full description...


Written By : Karen Kingsbury
Narrated By : Sandra Burr
Published By : Brilliance Audio Inc
Runtime : 4 hours 52 minutes
Categories : Short Stories
Download Price : $24.95
Karen Kingsbury brings listeners the second book in her life-changing Firstborn series. Dayne Matthews must come to terms with the reality of his situation and find both forgiveness and family alon... See full description...
Have you always loved reading but sometimes find it hard to find the time? Theres nothing quite like curling up with a good book but many of us cannot do that as much as we would llike. We sacrifice this special time because we have so many other things to do each day. It is a common problem and it is the reason why people on average are not reading as much as they once did. Audio books bring the story to life just as the storytellers of the past did. They allow you to experience the book in a whole new way; in the way the writer felt and heard it in their head. You can feel the emotion when you allow audio books to let the story come to life.