Masters Thesis

A comparative analysis of oppression and enlightenment in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Toni Morrison’s Sula

Toni Morrison’s Sula and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening illustrate the negative implications of a patriarchal society as their female characters are compelled to sacrifice their identities to conform. Although they are from different time periods, settings, social backgrounds, and races, Sula Peace and Edna Pontellier defy what it means to be women in their respective societies and in doing so become isolated; however, it is in this isolation that both women realize the fundamental need for self-ownership and freedom. This thesis contributes to the ongoing conversation in relation to the conflict of subjugation that women face by comparing the similar predicaments of Sula Peace and Edna Pontellier. Connecting the similar realizations that these two very different women experience demonstrates how authors from differing backgrounds are able to use the unifying theme of confinement based on gender to promote awareness of the oppressive roles that these two women face