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What mental health issues confronted in The Awakening are relevant to the topic Anxiety and Depression?

Q: What mental health issues confronted in The Awakening are relevant to the topic of Anxiety and Depression?

The mental health issues raised in “The Awakening” written by Kate Chopin could be understood by the social perspectives, historical understanding, gender-based differences as well as the cultural influence on the women. The main issue was that the women of the 19th century were facing mental illness due to a number of issues. The considered female population had severe mental illness problems which resulted in the opposing behavior of the male doctors and their husbands. The main aim is to understand the confronted mental health issues raised in the book by the author related to anxiety and depression.

The novel mainly discussed the perceived mental illness resulting because of depression and anxiety in women because of the rejection of marriage and motherhood by men. The considered character was Edna who had opposing behavior towards Léonce and her doctor Mandelet. The most common and highlighted issue was that the women desired their selfhood as well as scrutiny which they faced when they were observed looking for autonomy. In the novel, Edna had a problem facing mental instability which resulted in the desire for selfhood. Eden is highly frustrated because of Robert’s inability in escaping from the ties of society.

There was a discussion of love between Edna and Robert which was known to Mademoiselle Reisz. Edna was unable to admit it and was fallen into highly stressed conditions. The conservative conditions of society were encapsulating her completely because of her being a female and opposing the regular course of society.


Wolff, C. G. (1973). Thanatos and Eros: Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. American Quarterly25(4), 449-471.



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