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Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program) You will read Kate Chopin's The Awakening. This novel can be purchased at any bookstore, checked out at your local library, or downloaded as an e-book. After you read the novel at least twice, you will need to work with the following documents in order to complete the summer reading assignment: The following items are posted on the school website: Kate Chopin's Biography o Useful information and insight into the author The Awakening questions o Questions:

You have a two-part summer reading assignment: 1. Answer the questions in the "The Awakening Questions" document. Each question should elicit a 2-3 sentence response. The purpose is to use them as a tool to help you understand the novel. You might want to re-visit these questions over the course of the summer, and revise or enhance your response to the questions.

2. Write an essay which is an original critical analysis. Each of the last three words is significant: "Original" indicates that no secondary sources of any kind are to be used in the writing of the paper; "critical" involves evaluation, rather than mere paraphrase; "analysis" entails close reading and writing about Chopin's use of symbolism, imagery, syntax, setting, allusion, tone and theme. Your essay should be 3-4 pages in length. You must use MLA format.

3. Your grade for this assignment. Your grade will be based upon how well you are able to analyze the novel, detailing Kate Chopin's use of literary devices. You must support your assertions using appropriate quotes and examples. Remember no disembodied quotes.

Delivery Bring a hard copy of your questions and essay to class on the first day of school. The essay will be checked in on that day and you will then post the essay and questions to "" that night (first homework grade).

Mary Cragar Assistant Principal / IB Director International Baccalaureate [email protected] Doug Hernandez Maria Lyons Teacher Teacher Pre-IB AP English II Pre-IB AP English II [email protected] [email protected]

The above assignment is the student's ORIGINAL thoughts and work. For additional information see


Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program) Biography Biography of Kate Chopin by Neal Wyatt

Kate Chopin was born Kate O'Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri in 1850 to Eliza and Thomas O'Flaherty. She was the third of five children, but her sisters died in infancy and her brothers (from her father's first marriage) in their early twenties. She was the only child to live past the age of twenty-five. In 1855, at five and a half, she was sent to The Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic boarding school in St. Louis. Her father was killed two months later when a train on which he was riding crossed a bridge that collapsed. For the next two years she lived at home with her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, all of them widows. Her greatgrandmother, Victoria Verdon Charleville oversaw her education and taught her French, music, and the gossip on St. Louis women of the past. Kate O'Flaherty grew up surrounded by smart, independent, single women. They were also savvy and came from a long line of ground breaking women Victoria's own mother had been the first woman in St. Louis to obtain legal separation from her husband, after which she raised her five children and ran a shipping business on the Mississippi. Until Kate was sixteen, no married couples lived in her home, although it was full of brothers, uncles, cousins, and borders. She returned to the Sacred Heart Academy, where the nuns were known for their intelligence, and was top of her class. She won medals, was elected into the elite Children of Mary Society, and delivered the commencement address. After graduation she was a popular, if cynical, debutante. She wrote in her diary advice on flirting, "just keep asking 'What do you think?'" (Toth, 62). She grew up during the Civil War and this caused her to be separated from the one friend she had made at the Sacred Heart Academy, Kitty Garesche. Her family were slave holders and supported the South. St. Louis was a proNorth city, and the Gareshe's were forced to move. After the war, Kitty returned and she and Chopin were friends until Kitty entered Sacred Heart as a nun. There is no other evidence that Chopin had any other close female friendships. Kate's grandmother died three days before Christmas in 1863, the same year Kitty was banished. Kate's halfbrother, George, died in the war of typhoid fever on Mardi Gras Day. Her father had died on All Saints day, eight years previously, and these unhappy incidents combined to create a strong skepticism of religion in Chopin. In 1870, at the age of twenty, she married Oscar Chopin, twenty-five, and the son of a wealthy cotton-growing family in Louisiana. He was French catholic in background, as was Kate. By all accounts he adored his wife, admired her independence and intelligence, and "allowed" her unheard of freedom. After their marriage they lived in New Orleans where she had five boys and two girls, all before she was twenty-eight. Oscar was not an able business man, and they were forced to move to his old home in a small Louisiana parish. Oscar died of swamp fever there in 1882 and Kate took over the running of his general store and plantation for over a year. In 1884 she sold up and moved back to St. Louis to live with her mother. Sadly, Eliza died the next year, leaving Kate alone with her children again. To support herself and her young family, she began to write. She was immediately successful and wrote short stories about people she had known in Louisiana. The Awakening was inspired by a true story of a New Orleans woman who was infamous in the French Quarter. Her first novel, At Fault, was published in 1890, followed by two collections of her short stories, Bayou Folk in 1894 and A Night in Acadia in 1897. The Awakening was published in 1899, and by then she was well known as both a local colorist and a woman writer, and had published over one hundred stories, essays, and sketches in literary magazines. As a writer, Kate Chopin wrote very rapidly and without much revision. She usually worked in her home surrounded by her children. The content and message of The Awakening caused an uproar and Chopin was denied admission into the St. Louis Fine Art Club based on its publication. She was terribly hurt by the reaction to the book and in the remaining five years of her life she wrote only a few short stories, and only a small number of those were published. Like Edna, she paid the price for defying societal rules, and as Lazar Ziff explains, she "learned that her society would not tolerate her questionings. Her tortured silence as the new century arrived was a loss to American letters of the order of the untimely deaths of Crane and Norris. She was alive when the twentieth century began, but she had been struck mute by a society fearful in the face of an uncertain dawn" (Ziff, 305). While reading The Awakening remember that it is a kunstleroman, "a tale of a young woman who struggles to realize herself - and her artistic ability" (Huf, 69) and remember that Chopin, as well as Edna, was on a quest for artistic acceptance. That quest ended in an abrupt and frustrated manner when she died of a cerebral hemorrhage on August 22 1904.

(Much of the above information was gathered from Kate Chopin by Emily Toth, Verging on the Abyss by Mary Papke, and Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography by Per Seyersted. Below is a chronology of her life and work taken from Dyer's The Awakening: A Novel of Beginnings, xii-xv)


Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program)

Study Questions 2-3 sentence response per question required THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE NOVEL

MOTHER-WOMEN Chopin describes the mother woman at Grand Isle: "It was easy to know them fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshipped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels." Articulate Adele's attitude toward her children. husband, and self. Identify both her specific and general actions that show her to be a mother-woman. What is Chopin's attitude toward these women? What is Edna's attitude toward them? What is 19th-century society's attitude? What is your attitude? What, if anything, is missing from Adele's life? What is there about Adele that makes her a friend of Edna's? As she says goodbye to Edna after her' torturous delivery, Adele whispers, "Think of the children, Edna. Oh, think of the children!" What children does she mean? What does her mother-woman advice mean? EDNA AS MOTHER The night Robert said goodbye, her children "appeared like antagonists who had overcome her, who had overpowered and sought to drag her into the sold slavery for the rest of her days. But she know a way to elude' them." As she swims out to sea at the end, she thinks of Leonce and the children as a part of her life but "they need not have thought that they could possess her, body and soul." What does she mean in these two quotations? How do they reflect on her as a mother? By today's standards, how well-adjusted are Edna's boys? Would they be considered neglected today? Do her children need her? Does she need them? Love them? Is Edna too uncaring as a mother? (Prove) What is her response to Adele's warning to "think of the children"? EDNA AS WIFE Leonce has certain expectations of his wife and is often disappointed. Edna is never surprised by him and is often disappointed. Chart their expectations and resentments. Why did he marry her? Why did she marry him? In what ways is Edna a romantic? Leonce was not looking for strength in a wife, but Edna is described as having strong limbs when she swims and strong white teeth. Mlle. Reisz tests her shoulder blades to see if her wings were strong enough to "soar above the level plain of tradition." In what other senses is Edna strong? Does Edna ever really have strength? And if she does, does she ever lose it? How do the caged parrot and the mockingbird in the beginning of the novel and the bird with the broken wing at the very end of the novel reflect Edna as a wife?


Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program)

ABOUT DR. MANDELET: Dr. Mandelet appears three times in the latter half of the book: when he gives advice to Leonce, when he observes Edna at dinner, and when he gives Edna advice after the birth of Adele's baby. When Leonce asks him what to do about his much-changed wife, what advice does the doctor give? What question does he NOT ask? During dinner, what change in Edna does he notice? With what striking metaphor does he describe her? The doctor tells a story. Assuming it is true, why does he choose this one to tell? In what way is Edna's tale of "pure invention" a response to the doctor's story? What does the doctor say as he walks home? Why does he say this? As they walk home after the birth, what warning does the doctor give Edna? What comfort does he give her? ABOUT EDNA'S FATHER, THE KENTUCKY COLONEL: What physical descriptions of Edna' s father seem also to suggest qualities of his character? Leonce believes, during the Colonel's stay, that Edna is closely attached to her father. Is he right? Prove. Notice the Colonel's response to Adele's coquetry and to Edna's refusal to attend her sister's wedding. What do these responses show about him? What advice does he give Leonce? In Ch 24, Edna is glad to be rid of the Colonel. Note the description of him given here. In what ways is he the prototypical Kentucky colonel? Why is the Colonel included in this novel? What does the Colonel lack that Edna possesses? How did he lose his bluegrass farm in Kentucky?


Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program)

Useful questions to ask yourself while analyzing the novel Your answers to these questions are not turned in, but you are strongly encouraged to answer these questions.

The Awakening Questions

1. Consider alternative titles for Chopin's novel. Comment on each alternative title in terms of the novel's design, themes, and development of the central character(s). 2. Discuss Kate Chopin as a writer of local color fiction. To what extent does she appeal to a reader's natural interest in an aspect of regional society and life with which few had personal experience? 3. Edna Pontellier is caught in the contradictions between the way others see her and the way she sees herself. Identify several moments in which this becomes apparent, and show Edna's growing awareness of the contradiction. 4. Count, characterize, and analyze the numerous women of color in The Awakening. What does their presence and their treatment in the novel suggest about Edna's (and Chopin's) attitudes toward human development for nonwhite and poor women? 5. Some readers have described Edna's death in The Awakening as suicide; others view it as her attempt at self-realization. Argue the relative truth of both interpretations. 6. What is the symbolic importance of the lady in black and of the two lovers? These characters often appear at the same points in the novel; what is the significance of this pairing? 7. What is the symbolic meaning of Edna's first successful attempt to swim? 8. Early in The Awakening, the narrator remarks that Léonce thinks of Edna as "the sole object of his existence." What evidence does the novel provide to support this declaration? 9. How does the text use clothing and garments (or the lack thereof) to portray Edna's rebellion against Victorian norms? 10. Of the many awakenings Edna undergoes in the novel, which are most important to her progress? Which may be considered "rude" or unexpected awakenings? 11. Explore the full implications of the various images of birds in the novel. How do the different species of birds mentioned--parrots, mockingbirds, pigeons--symbolize different ideas? 12. Some critics view Edna's suicide at the end of the novel as a failure to complete her escape from convention--an inability to defy society once stripped of the motivation of a man by her side. Others view her suicide as a final awakening, a decision to give herself to the sea in a show of strength and independence that defies social expectation. Which interpretation do you find more compelling, and why? Symbols to note and discuss: Awakening Blue Red Yellow Fountain Vase Cat Leaves Moon Rings 5 Dog Bee Bird/Wing Waves City Parasol Umbrella Horse Fan

Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program)

Writing Rules for Formal Writing

1. Never write in the first person (I, me, us, we) or second person (you, your, yours). Always write in 3rd person 2. Always write in the present tense when writing about literature. 3. Never write contractions or any type of abbreviation. Use formal language at all times (not Scout's dad, but Scout's father). Do not use slang or clichés. "Avoid them like the plague" 4. Quotations from the primary source MUST be used to support your points. Punctuation always goes inside the quotation mark. NO DISEMBODIED QUOTES!!!! You cannot quote entire sentences and stick them in your essay as stand-alone sentences. Keep quotes short and integrate them into a sentence you are writing. 5. All titles for short pieces of literature (short stories and poems) ~ Quotation marks for "The Raven" or "The Scarlet Ibis" All titles for long pieces of literature (novels) ~ Underline when handwriting ~ Things Fall Apart or Italicize when typing ~ Things Fall Apart. 7. Thesis statement is always the last sentence in the introduction. All topic sentences must support the thesis. 8. Don't editorialize. Don't praise the writer or the text (Knowles does an excellent job...). It just indicates that you have nothing of substance to say and are hoping the teacher will not notice if you pretend you really like the book. 9. Take a break from your work before you proofread. Read your writing aloud when proofreading. 10. Two spaces after all periods. 11. Titles need to be a bit creative. It should tell the reader the topic, yet the title should not be the title of the literary work ("The Raven"). You didn't write "The Raven." 12. Never start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS ~ or, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). Exception: Used as an interjection (Example: So, you think you want to be a writer? Writing Fiction) 13. Do not use fickle words ­ probably, might, seems, maybe, possibly. Sound as if you know what you are talking about. Be definite. 14. NEVER WRITE: "I am going to write about," "the reason I am writing," or "I just wrote about." JUST WRITE IT. No one cares about your reasoning. 15. Use strong transitions. Transitions are not used exclusively at the beginning of a paragraph. Transitions can and should be used throughout your writing. See transition sheet for good examples. Forbidden transitions are as follows: first of all, secondly, thirdly, in conclusion. They are weak and juvenile. 16. Avoid the forbidden words: like, a lot, stuff, things


Summer Reading for rising Sophomores (International Baccalaureate program)

Bathing suit styles around the time of The Awakening



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