Juxtaposing of the Stories “The Awakening” and “Summer”


In the literature, juxtaposition is used widely in engraving a given character in detail where the author may create suspense (Blau 48). This essay will juxtapose the stories titled as “The Awakening” (TA) and “Summer”. Technically, the novelist Edith Wharton commences in a somewhat different model when compared to Kate Chopin. Wharton presents the main character, Charity, in a low mood and regrets until some hope arises as Harney enters as the new face of the beginning story (Wharton 54). The moods and presentation of the story named ‘The Awakening’ is elevated and described by some terms such as cheerily and boisterously (Wharton 65).

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The story identifies the roles of the husband and wife at the initial stages. However, the relationships of TA are much hopeless when the husbands decide to end the relationships. Summer has a similar reality where Herney requests Charity to marry him, but reconsiders this marriage when he fails to meet the demands of the wife (Choplin 54). These texts avail the theme of marriage by showing the challenges faced as well as the outcomes. Essentially, it is apparent that marriage can lead to absolute happiness as availed when the main characters join again and live happily in the book titled Summer (Choplin 67).

However, the view availing in TA is sorrowful especially at its climax where Edna (the main character) loses her life. Other themes that are apparent in this context include the emotions and love. Pertinently, it is viewed that love in the text is characterized by varying presence of emotions. Even though these emotions can be described as stress and depression based, the aspects attributing to them are out of strong love. The characters are happy during the initial stages of love but slight interferences/challenges cause adequate problems that lead to break ups.

Awakening is pertinent and addressed widely within the two texts in regard to several factors. In Summer, this is evident in how Charity brought out sexual awakening (Choplin 78). The story brought out complex class structures, drawbacks, gender, and the discovery of a person’s identity. For instance, Summer avails an architect, lawyer, and librarian while TA presents a businessperson and recitalist.

In the text of TA, the theme of awakening has also been addressed vividly in terms of gender (Chopin 89). The text indicates how women have to struggle when understanding their positions in the changing world. Edna lives in a society where she does not know her roles as a woman. When the story ends, she realizes that relationships cannot earn her freedom and happiness.

The stories brought out how the characters had to be awakened sexually in order to achieve their identity. Edna’s sexual awakening arises from her determination to attain total freedom (Chopin 25). This is in contrast to how Charity ends her search for freedom by attaining a promising relationship. At the end of the story, the death of Edna leaves the readers wondering if she had a real awakening while Charity finds a happy life and learns her duties out of marriage.


The two texts can also be juxtaposed based on the authorship. Chopliin writes her book with enthusiasm. She brings out her concerns on women awakening from early feminism. Her work is realistic in that it is based on social awakening of women and the struggles they have to undergo in order to become responsible for their lives. She shows explicitly how men use women and then neglects them whenever they want as Mr. Royall and Robert do at one point of their life. She has also used styles cautiously, which keeps the readers in a constant expectation of the preceding events. Kate uses two ladies where Adele keeps on advising Edna based on moral issues. The background has been set in the Island that symbolizes real awakening compared to the main land.

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The author of Summer writes her book based on the prevailing societal conditions during her time (Wharton 89). She uses Charity to show how sexual awakening caused emotional stress. The abject poverty that affects her mother’s life reminds her of the struggles to become firm financially. She has also brought out the role of Charity clearly to point out how women have become victims of relationships where their freedom arises from marriage alone. She ends her story when Charity gets back to Mr. Royall. The authorship of this text is, therefore, in total contrast to that of TA where Edna dies in the end.


Story forms have been used widely by various authors where they engage their readers imaginatively with the basic knowledge of their message (Scholes 78). Stories also provide orientation to readers’ emotions on their contents the creating suspense as seen when Mr. Royall lives his wife without bad intentions (Wharton 60).

Importance of Juxtaposing in Reading and Teaching

The presence of Edna and Charity creates a readers’ motivation since they create adequate persuasion. These attributes make the teaching and reading of these stories motivating. For instance, the characters are stressed and hopeless in their relationships at the middle of the storyline. The distinction is precise towards the end where Edna commits suicide due to lack of independence that she expected from her relationship with Robert while Charity finally settles with Mr. Royall (Wharton 97).

Furthermore, the stories have adequate lessons to learn from juxtaposition. For instance, the virtues of patience, determination, perseverance are pertinent from this story. Charity’s possesses these characters which leads her to happiness after reconciling with Royall (Choplin 78). However, lack of patience, persistence, and determination cause a woeful ending for Edna. Consequently, it is apparent that these stories present adequate learning incidences and persuade the readers.

Works Cited

Blau, Sheridan. The Literature Workshop: Rethinking the Classic Problems of Instruction. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003. Print.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening: And Selected Stories. Minneapolis: Filiquarian, 2007. Print.

Scholes, Robert. Textual Power: Literary Theory and the Teaching of English. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1985. Print.

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Wharton, Edith. Summer. Waiheke Island: Floating Press, 2010. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, April 7). Juxtaposing of the Stories "The Awakening" and "Summer". Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/juxtaposing-of-the-stories-the-awakening-and-summer/

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"Juxtaposing of the Stories "The Awakening" and "Summer"." StudyCorgi, 7 Apr. 2021, studycorgi.com/juxtaposing-of-the-stories-the-awakening-and-summer/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Juxtaposing of the Stories "The Awakening" and "Summer"." April 7, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/juxtaposing-of-the-stories-the-awakening-and-summer/.


StudyCorgi. "Juxtaposing of the Stories "The Awakening" and "Summer"." April 7, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/juxtaposing-of-the-stories-the-awakening-and-summer/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Juxtaposing of the Stories "The Awakening" and "Summer"." April 7, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/juxtaposing-of-the-stories-the-awakening-and-summer/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Juxtaposing of the Stories "The Awakening" and "Summer"'. 7 April.

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