ONE (a): The Awakening speaks to the fact that women were breaking away from the dependence they had on men (and the power men had over women as a cultural tradition). When Edna learns to swim, for example, she is extremely happy that she has control over something that propels her; Chopin uses Edna's emerging independence (and Edna's repulsion for the "…vague, tangled, chaotic…exceedingly disturbing" truth about her own life) as a metaphor for this breaking away from the role women played (Complete Works, 995). On page 1,000 Edna enters the water with no clothes and feels like a "new-born creature. Chopin's book broke literary tradition and created quite a stir because of the racy life and changes of Edna that led to her rejection of her wifely duties; the literary world, and the world of readers, were shocked because wives traditionally had obligations, and hence Chopin broke the mold. That male's traditional mold had been well established by DH Lawrence, James Joyce, and other novelists, and by portraying Edna as a woman who desires emotional closeness and intimacy -- and leaves the bonds of marriage to find those feminine experiences -- Chopin changed literary conventions.
TWO (b): Chopin uses Edna's husband as a point of reference vis-a-vis Edna's shocking changes from the dutiful wife she always was before. Edna's husband can't relate to his wife in any context other than as a possession he has the right to own and control. The cultural norm in the 19th century was for a husband to build his wife a home, to confine one's wife to that home and to expect his wife to always be there. Chopin also is impacted by her association with Adele Ratignolle, who is involved in a traditional marriage with husband and children but Adele listens to Edna and allows Edna to see the life that Edna really wants to pursue. Adele…… [Read More]
By realizing that she cannot share herself with anyone, Edna has to come to terms with her inability to maintain any true relationships; in this sense, she is destined to stand alone in the world (Ringe 586), a position which is suggested by the metaphor of the water. The final episode of the novel is represented by Edna's solitary swim into the emptiness of the Gulf.
The metaphor of the water is relevant to the theme of self-discovery and expression of self. Throughout the novel, the sea becomes a symbol of sexual desire (Spangler 251): "She could see the glint of the moon upon the bay, and could feel the soft, gusty beating of the hot south wind. A subtle current of desire passed through her body, weakening her hold upon the brushes and making her eyes bum" (Chopin 149). Also, water symbolizes freedom and escape; with its vastness and power, the sea can be approached and understood by Edna only after she has discovered her own strength. She is intrigued and seduced by the depth and mystery of the water, and finds herself coming back to it throughout the novel: "The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clearing, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in the abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation" (Chopin 17).
Water can also symbolize rebirth, or represent a biblical reference to baptism. In this sense, the sea becomes a reference to the inner rebirth, i.e. The awakening that Edna seeks so desperately. However the ending brings about a transformation as far as this symbol as the water ceases to represent a space of spiritual awakening; in this sense, nonetheless, we can also argue that the sea which had enabled Edna to acquire self-consciousness and a profound understanding of life, teaches her in the end that independence comes at a high price, and that the vastness of the sea is in fact a symbol of Edna's inner void and feeling of hopelessness, as Chopin writes in chapter 39, "The water of the Gulf stretched out before her, gleaming with the million lights of the sun.
The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude. All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in…… [Read More]
In service to this "religion," she is expected to offer her entire self. Ultimately, although unintentionally, she quite literally gives her life in this servitude.
In The Awakening, religion also plays an important role in the female self-concept. Adele for example specifically refers to the Bible when attempting to convince Edna of the merits of self-sacrifice for husband and children. However, it is also true that Adele has no concept of the inner self and therefore experiences no sense of sacrifice when denying her own desires in favor of those her family may have.
In this way, the religious force, and particularly Christianity, serves as an oppressive power, in contrast to the force of freedom it claims to be. Religion can also be seen from a wider point-of-view when considered in terms of the authors' intention in both respective cases. Jason Hartford (435) for example consider religion in terms of Flaubert's views on Christianity. While he notes that critics have tended to use Madam Bovary as indicative of Flaubert's derision of organized Christianity at the time, Hartford also indicates that the novel was far more than simply a denial of the Christian God in favor of the author as deity. Instead, the author holds that Flaubert addresses the realities of life for women, as imposed by the social constructs of family and religion or church as representative of faith. For women of the time, faith represented the ultimate oppressive construct. The authority behind religion was not something that could be overthrown, which could be seen as one of the reasons why death was seen as the ultimate escape from the oppression that Edna and Emma respectively suffered.
Holder-Salmon and Chopin (138) offer a further possibility for religion in terms of Edna's development in The Awakening. The authors note that both organized religion and the social construct of family was based on the patriarchal paradigm. Hence, for a woman to escape these constructs was to develop not only personally, but…… [Read More]
Edna develops an independence to the point that this final tug of society makes the two completely incompatible; Robert is gone when she returns, and Edna drowns herself, ignoring Adele's dying admonition to "Think of the children!'" (289). One woman dies in grace, the other in despair.
The two ways in which the women relate to their families are hugely important in defining the two characters and thus illustrating the theme of the novel. Madame Ratignolle is a born mother and wife; she dotes on her children and worships her husband, but does not seem at all vapid. Rather, she does these things because she truly enjoys them and finds them rewarding. The difference in the Pontellier household is made palpable when Adele suggests that Leonce and Edna might be more "united" if he stayed home more in the evenings, to which Edna reacts blankly, saying "We wouldn't have anything to say to each other" (179). This makes it clear that it is not a difference of situation that defines these two women as so diametrically opposed to each other, but rather a difference of temperament. Adele Ratignolle enjoys -- that is, is individually suited to -- the traditional role of wife and mother. Edna Pontellier is decidedly not suited to this lifestyle, but it is still demanded of her. Adele's inability to comprehend this is reflective of society's rejection of Edna's individual desires and attitudes.
This also plays a huge role in how the two women define themselves. Throughout the novel, Adele Ratignolle continually identifies herself with the achievements of her children and husband; she is seen knitting winter outfits for her children in the summer vacation landscape, sharpening the appearance of her maternal drive in an almost comical way. Edna defines herself largely through her passion, and specifically her sexual desire. Her response to music is also somewhat sexual; after an encounter with Arobin, she begins thinking about the pianist Mademoiselle Reisz. When he continues to tell Edna about herself, she protests, "talk of me if you like...but let me think of something else while you do'" (217). She is resistant to anyone else defining her, but must do it herself on her own terms, following the whims of her own passion. This independence eventually leads to her downfall, as she sees no way to achieve her…… [Read More]
Chopin's The Awakening
Edna Pontellier's Quest for Freedom in Chopin's the Awakening
Kate Chopin's The Awakening revolves around Edna Pontellier and her quest for self-discovery. During the course of her journey, Edna breaks away from the socially acceptable behavior expected of women at the time. As a woman, Edna was expected to marry "and take part in [her] husband's interests and business" (Appell). Additionally, "women were not…allowed to be educated or gain knowledge outside of the home because it was a man's world" (Appell). Chopin's characterization of Edna's awakening is somewhat reminiscent of the freedoms she personally experienced while growing up alongside strong, independent, and trailblazing women who continuously defied conventions and did not let society dictate what they could or could not do (Wyatt). The Awakening takes part during the course of two consecutive summers in which Edna exhibits cyclical tendencies. Through her various rebellious, albeit unadvised actions, Edna finds social, emotional, and sexual freedom.
Edna is able to achieve social freedom by defying her family's wishes and marrying a man they did not approve of. Chopin writes, "[Edna's] marriage to Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident…He pleased her; his absolute devotion flattered her…Add to this violent opposition of her father and her sister Margaret to her marriage with a Catholic," which Chopin contends was enough reason for Edna to marry Leonce (Chopin 22). By marrying Leonce and leaving her father and sister, Edna was moving from one constrained environment and moving into another as Leonce "reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of [their] children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it?" (10). Leonce's attitude towards Edna's obligations demonstrates that even though she was free from her father and sister, she was not free from social convention.
Edna subsequently attempts and achieves emotional freedom by engaging in an emotional relationship with Robert Lebrun. During her first visit to Grand Isle, Edna realizes "her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her" (17). It is this realization…… [Read More]
protagonist of Kate Chopin's book, The Awakening, Edna Pontellier, starts a one way voyage to find herself. A young wife and mother living in New Orleans at the end of the nineteenth century makes surprising discoveries about who she is, abut what is essential and what is not. As she explains to her friend, Mrs. Ratignolle, there are things that are far more important to someone than one's own life. The finding of her true self will cost Edna one "unessential" possession in the end: her life, but she proved the trip worth the cost. She chooses to distance herself from everything she knew before in order to gain the clarity and the objectivity she needed to explore the new world within.
Although, Edna's marriage to Leonce Pontellier was a conflict in itself, it was nothing out of the ordinary for the first six years. A young girl who dreams of the great tragedian whose picture she has on the wall, meets a real man and marries him. This is a rather ordinary situation in a girl's life. The conflict apparently marks the transition from illusion to real life.
Even Edna's decision to marry the young man based on her wish to spite her father and older sister does not appear to be more that the usual revolt in a young person's life. A young Edna takes the "right decision," enrolling in the cohort of married women, taking their rightful place at the right time, fulfilling their duties and destinies: "As the devoted wife of a man who worshiped her, she felt she would take her place with a certain dignity in the world of reality, closing the portals forever behind her upon the realm of romance and dreams" (Chopin).
Music plays a role in Edna's process of awakening, too. Mademoiselle Reisz, who devoted her life to music, plays an important part at this stage of Edna's transformation. Her performance at the piano suddenly awakens Edna's soul, striking its very chords, instead of just bringing up the usual "material pictures which she thought would gather and blaze…… [Read More]
Awakenings - Dr. Oliver Sack Film
Based on a true story about Dr. Oliver Sack's work in the 1960s, Penny Marshall's film Awakenings elucidates the challenges of clinical experimental psychology. Dr. Sack's fictionalized character, Dr. Malcolm Sayer had worked as a laboratory researcher until he was forced to accept a new position treating catatonic patients at a Bronx mental institution. His relative inexperience in a clinical setting could be partly to blame for his somewhat idealistic approach to treating the patients under his care. In any case, Sayer attends a conference about new treatments for Parkinson's disease. When he hears about the revolutionary drug "L-Dopa," Sayer imagines it might offer a viable treatment for the catatonic patients on his ward, whose symptoms result from their having childhood encephalitis. After applying to the hospital medical board for approval, Sayer is permitted to test the drug on one patient. In addition to the administration of L-Dopa, at first at 200 mg doses and then later at 1000 mg doses, Sayer and his staff try to interact with the patients throughout the course of their treatment. Because Sayer is convinced that somewhere underneath their sleeping exteriors rests a human soul screaming to be released, he attempts to "awaken" his subjects by playing ball with them and encouraging them to dance. The experiment using L-Dopa is portrayed in the film as being rather informally, even haphazardly carried out. While Dr. Sacks might have used more formal methods of tracking patient progress and keeping detailed notes, in the film the clinician simply administered the drug and subjectively analyzed results. Moreover, Dr. Sayer increased the dosage without consulting the hospital medical board for approval, simply because results were not forthcoming.
Sayer's decision to up the dosage without approval from the medical board is understandable but unethical. The administration needs to be…… [Read More]
It is Edna who achieves both the awakening of the title, the awareness of how the social traditions imposed on her are stifling her and preventing her from expressing herself as she would wish, and also fails in that she cannot overcome these traditions and so chooses suicide rather than continue under such a repressive system. Chopin implies that there is a danger in awakening, in understanding the nature of the female role in society, and in trying to overcome that role. Chopin believes that some people possess the energy to keep up with their times and in effect to accept whatever may be their lot in life. These people do not need to examine reality or its meaning -- they indeed may not be able to do so, and instead they simply live. Madame Ratignolle is such a person, but Edna is not. Edna questions and examines, and the answers she finds do not allow her to continue as before, or to emulate her friend Madame Ratignolle and simply live. Edna corresponds to the artist, the artist who is always questioning, always examining, and in a way always discovering that the world does not live up to the ideal sought. The artist awakens, and the result is either the production of art or the death of the stifled artist.
Edna is a character caught between different poles of femaleness in her time, between the class of "mother-women" and the class of "artist-women."
On the one side stands Adele Ratignolle, the sensual Creole woman, a woman who adjusts to society by celebrating her procreative powers. On the other side is the less stable independence of liberated artists, who resist their culture's sociological limitations with their own kind of creative powers. The predicament in which Edna finds herself is evident in the opening passages -- she is first like the colorful parrot which hangs outside the door, warning others away, a woman in a cage who has not heeded this warning. The husband sees her after she has been in the sun and looks "at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered…… [Read More]
The figures that, during the novel, have the greatest role in shaping Edna Pontellier's character, and therefore the figures from whom she must escape, are her husband and children. It is her role as wife and mother that is supposed to define her, as it did for much of recorded history. Women were thought to have very little value outside of the home, especially in the higher classes (when it was unnecessary for women to earn an income or engage in labor for any other reason). Thus, it was her interactions with and devotion to certain specified others that was supposed to define her. As she awakens to the reality of this construct, she reflects, "I would give up the unessential [for my children]; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself (Chopin, Chapter 16). Once she realizes that she truly as an identity of her own, she is unwilling to have it subsumed by anyone else.
Edna's foil throughout the novel is the unflappable Madame Ratignolle, who embodies society's ideal conception of the female identity. She is fully engaged with her children and her husband, and even spends her summer knitting winter garments for her coming baby. Though she and Edna Pontellier are the best of friends, they are also complete opposites in this regard. The novel refrains from judging either woman on the basis of the choices they make, however; though Edna is seen as somewhat selfish at times, it is tempered by the fact that she has never before been able to follow her own wishes. Just so, though Madame Ratignolle appears a touch too subservient in her role as the caretaker of her family, it is clear that this role makes her immensely happy and does not mark any lack of fulfillment on her part. Edna sees her as a representative of "women who idolized their children, worshipped their…… [Read More]
Great Awakening in America
The Great Awakenings refer to several waves of interest in religion in America. These waves have coincided with increases in economic prosperity and materialism that have caused people to view religion with less interest. It began in the 1930s as disunited attempts at religious revival and in the 1940s had matured into "the remarkable Revival of Religion" (Lambert, p. 6). During the 1740 sThe Great Awakenings aimed at inspiring people to perceive religion as a source of emotional energy and not as a set of rituals and practices. The social and economic problems faced by twenty-first century American society necessitate a similar movement that can create a sense of community in a religiously and ethnically diverse society.
During the early decades of the eighteenth century, the British colonies in America were evolving from their beginnings in the sixteenth century. Trade in slaves, sugar, tobacco and manufactured goods from Britain had created greater wealth among the colonialists, particularly in Pennsylvania and Chesapeake (American Promise, p. 127). With increasing prosperity and enterprise, people had become interested in buying goods and were spoilt for choice for the first time in history. People had become detached from religion and more involved in the seeking comfort in life. In large and important cities, hardly 10 to 15% of the adult population attended church regularly (American Promise, p. 130). The preachers of the Great Awakening sought to stem this growing worldliness by getting people to connect emotionally with religion.
Along with waning interest in religion, increasing prosperity of the merchants and slave traders was creating resentment on several levels. Ordinary free white people resented the wealthy for looking down upon them. At the same time, the America-born members of the growing Negro population were experiencing discrimination by the white class even after they were no longer slaves. Slavery was still a source of unrest and strained relations between the white and black population. This would lead to the 1739 rebellion at Stono, South Carolina where a group of black slaves burnt fields and killed more than twenty white people. The rebellion was brutally quashed and the heads of the rebels were put up on posts as a reminder of their inferiority (American Promise,…… [Read More]
Indeed, the Eastern awakening caused groups and societies to spring up that were characterized by their desire to do missionary work in the United States ("Second Great").
In the Appalachian region, however, the antecedent of the Second Great Awakening was the first and other revivals that had occurred since then. The tone taken in this region was the same evangelistic, camp meeting gospel preached at such events in the past, complete with emotional fervor. Indeed, it was this region that gave rise to newfound strength for Methodists and Baptists, whose popularity ever since can be credited to this period in history and its spiritual events. Thus, the Second Great Awakening was an important part of American History in which denominations were formed and strengthened and the social working religion was formed.
Works… [Read More]
This suggests that it is an intellectual understanding of her friend's beatings and not a true emotional empathy that she is after. Though the scene is most definitely tragic, if it is approached with the same intellectual curiosity that the two adolescents bring to it can only be seen as an episode of horribly dark humor. The fact that Wendla can be so foolish as to desire an intellectual understanding of child abuse shows her complete lack of a true appreciation for the situation, and is thus a comic -- not necessarily humorous, but comical nonetheless -- situation.
The end of a play is also one way to determine if a particular work is a comedy or a tragedy. The fact that Moritz and Wendla are both unnecessarily dead at the end of the play at first seems to suggest a tragedy, as does Melchior's expulsion. When the characters end up worse than they were at the start of the action, it usually indicates a tragedy. But this is not actually where Spring Awakening leaves off. Instead, Melchior returns to his village -- or at least its graveyard -- and encounters Moritz and the masked Man. This scene is not only highly intellectual, as noted above, but Melchior's final observation before walking away into the night and his future is that perhaps when he is older Moritz will "be closer to me again than all the people who share my life" (Wedekind 58). Melchior has grown and become better for the incidents in the play, and this outcome suggest a more typical comedy than a tragedy.
Of course, viewing the ending from Moritz's perspective yields a different result, and indeed it would be possible to make an equally convincing argument that Spring Awakening is an inescapable tragedy. But this is the nature of classification in the…… [Read More]
The wildly prolific Joyce Carol Oates also delves into the role of modern women in her fiction writing, although a quick review of her works spanning the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, suggests it is more difficult to draw as direct a connection between Oates' major works and biography than it is with Chopin. However, like Mrs. Mallard of "The Story of an Hour" briefly delights in a fantasy coming to life, only to find her hopes dashed when the promise of freedom is taken away, the heroine Connie of "Where are you going, where have you been," finds her fantasy of being seductive and more beautiful than her conventional mother and sister to be far different than she realizes in reality. In Oates, much more explicitly than in Chopin, the trap of femininity 'used' as a vehicle of liberation for the teenage Connie becomes a lie, as Connie becomes the victim of rape and possibly (it is implied) even murder. The weak-hearted Louise of "The Story of an Hour" might fantasize about using her inheritance to travel. However, Connie actually makes herself look beautiful -- but when she is confronted with Arnold Friend who styles himself on an image of James Dean and other rebellious male figures, she discovers that beneath the veneer of approval for her and his apparent rebellion he just wants her sexually and he is ugly and old. Connie originally wanted to be powerful through her sexuality but her culture has rendered her passive as a woman so she merely lets Friend into her home, as if she has no other choice, given how she has lived the previous years of her life.
Fortunately, connections exist in Oates' life and Connie's other than their working-class backgrounds. Oates was born in Syracuse, New York, although she has written about women and America in a variety of genres, and now is one of Princeton's most celebrated authors. Her short story does reflect her obsession about how class and gender intersect in a way that is distinct from Chopin's -- Oates focuses on a young, impressionable girl of a 'lower' class, isolated from what she sees as exciting city life, rather than a married woman who is hungry for experience. But Connie has been so unprepared and unprotected…… [Read More]
Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a western title for an ancient collection of Egyptian manuscripts, the majority of which were funerary in nature. These collected writings have also been referred to as the Egyptian Bible or identified by the names of the scribes who penned them. The Papyrus of Ani comprises the most significant contribution to these texts, though there are some other minor sources which are often included. In the original languages, these works were more accurately entitled the Books of Coming Forth By Day. One of the greatest challenges to English-language speakers when confronting all the great scriptures is the language gap. Unless one has the time and inclination to learn Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew, Greek -- or in this case, Egyptian Heiroglyphs -- it becomes necessary to read the scriptures in translation. The farther removed one's own culture, and alphabet, is from the culture which spawned this scripture, the more translation becomes a vital and subjective area. This particular book review covers a translation of the Egyptian scriptures by Normandi Ellis, which have been printed by Phanes Press under the title Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Normandi Ellis is not generally considered the definitive translator of these books. That honor goes to noted Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge. Unfortunately, Budge's translations tend towards the mundane and prosaic. The original works were mystic, lyrical, full of alliteration and wordplay. According to Egyptian thought, The Word itself was sacred and powerful, and the mystic impact of these works was inseparable from the poetry of their language. When Normandi Ellis attempted her translations, she abandoned the strict phonetic and word-by-word translation style favored by Budge and embraced a more complete metaphorical and conceptual translation which focused on bringing the deep-rooted poetic style and power of the original into modern translation. Her translation has been hailed by peer reviewed journals as "a poetry unmatched anywhere in…… [Read More]
Wolves: The sexual awakening of Little Red
"The Company of Wolves" by Angela Carter depicts the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood as a sexual awakening for the young woman, Little Red. [THESIS]. This can be seen in how the wolf is sexualized and depicted as a vibrant, attractive man in the eyes of Little Red
"He strips off his shirt. His skin is the color and texture of vellum. A crisp strip of hair runs down his belly, his nipples are ripe and dark as poison fruit but he's so thin you could count the ribs under his skin if only he'd give you the time…His genitals, huge. Ah! Huge!" (Carter 317). The story retains the general structure of the fairy tale until the end, but the descriptions of Little Red and the wolf give the story an additional sexual relevance.
For example, in the above-cited quotation, the wolf's true, sexual nature and carnivorous desire is revealed when he exposes himself to grandmother. The man/wolf is hairy and mature as a man yet he also has a strangely feminine side: "his nipples are ripe and dark as poison fruit" (Carter 317) His nipples are like poison fruit, which Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, causing the fall of man. The wolf is the tempter and offers the fruit of knowledge of sexuality, but the fact that his nipples are so prominent suggests a kind of maternal identity despite the fact that his genitals are "huge."
Later, the sexuality of the wolf will become even more confused as he takes on the persona of grandmother, wearing her clothing and speaking in her voice. As obviously male as the wolf may be because of the cartoonish size of his genitals and his nakedness, he embodies both the female and male principles of sexual identity. However, he will 'deflower' Little Red with death, as the girl comes…… [Read More]
Nora's Awakening #2
A Doll's House by Henrick Ibsen is a 1879 play that provides insight into the life of a women during the 19th century. While the play takes place over a short period time, it is during this time that Nora Helmer realizes that she is unhappy, and she needs to break away from her husband. Nora feels as though she was never given the opportunity to live the life she wanted, and after seeing what her husband, Torvald, thinks of Krogstad, a man who has committed the same crimes Nora has in order to save Torvald, she can no longer keep her thoughts to herself and resolves to stop being objectified by all the men in her life. In the play, the turning point comes in Act III when Nora compares herself to a doll and explains how she has always been treated as an object and subsequently blames both her father and her husband for not being given the opportunity to make more of herself.
One of the reason's the definitive moment in the play occurs when Nora compares herself to a doll is because it gives Nora is finally able to speak up for herself. In Act III, Nora gets into an argument with Torvald and is shocked to realize that for the first time since they were married eight years ago, they are having an actual conversation, as opposed to the casual pleasantries they have exchanged for years. In Nora's speech, not only does Nora explain how she has been objectified, but she also provides an explanation for the play's title. Nora explains,
When I was at home with Papa he told me his opinion about everything, and so I…… [Read More]
We must be willing to fail, to falter, to suffer, in order to become greater versions of ourselves. Sometimes, being shown lesser versions of ourselves can be the key to this personal evolution.
And perhaps most importantly, we must recognize that this personal evolution does not occur in a vacuum. To the contrary, we improve ourselves only if we improve the value we represent for the whole of humanity, in whatever modest capacity this may be possible. Here, we are driven by the idea that "a human being is a part of a whole, called by us the 'universe', a part limited in time and space."
This is perhaps the unifying principle in our discussion. The openness which is a recurrent theme here denotes especially the imperative to remain open to one's fellow man. Nothing that we do occurs independently of the needs and wishes of family, friends, communities, societies, civilizations and so on. We are infinitesimal units of an infinitude that is well beyond our comprehension. The best we can do is attempt to comprehend this notion as a function of that which we can impact. Where we can improve our lives, the lives of those around us and the lives of those beyond us, we have a responsibility to attempt to do so. Only through an openness to the unfamiliar, a willingness to learn from suffering and recognition of the broader magnitude of the universe will allow us to do this.
I have always found that these principles apply directly to my personal experience as well. For example, when I travel to new cities or new countries, I make it a point to talk to as many locals as possible. You can learn so much more from one conversation than you can from one hundred tour books. So I introduce myself to strangers, share experiences with fellow travelers, haggle with shopkeepers and ask cab drivers questions. When I speak to a bartender, I ask him where he's from and what life is like there. If you open yourself up to strangers this way, you can learn so much not just about this new place in the world but also about yourself.… [Read More]
Application of Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory to Awakenings
There are several grand theories of nursing, and among them is Dorothea Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory (SCDT). This theory has established a set of assumptions, including that people are distinct individuals, that they should be self-reliant, that a person's knowledge of potential health problem is necessary for promoting self-care behaviors, and that nursing is a form of action (CurrentNursing.com, 2012). The movie Awakenings (Parkes, Lasker & Marshall, 1990) can be used as an example of how this theory can be applied even to the most difficult of nurse-patient interactions. The focus here will be on the scene where the patients awakened. Dr. Sayer was present, as was the nurse manager and a staff nurse. At this point, there is a transition in the type of care that needs to be provided to the patients from wholly compensatory to partially compensatory.
All individuals need to take care of themselves in one way or the other, depending on their need at any point in time. There will be instances when the assistance that is required is beyond that of the family members or the lay caregivers within the society, thereby requiring the need for specialized caregivers. Hence, from the SCDT perspective, the care of the assistance that is provided by the nurse is associated with the health-related actual or potential healthcare deficits of the persons, individually or collectively (Taylor & Renpenning, 2011).
Orem's SCDT claims that there are three aspects that are basic to nursing practice: self-care, self-care deficits, and the nursing systems (Rice, 2006). In this theory, the main focus is on the families and the individuals to maintain a healthy state of well-being through acquisition of different requirements. She classifies these requirements as being universal, developmental, or health-deviation requisites (Geyer, Mogotlane, & Young, 2009). For the universal requisites, they are those that are universal to every person and basic to daily life functioning such as air, water or food. Developmental requirements are those that arise from the developmental process, and they occur throughout the lifecycle of a person. Finally, the health-deviation requisites are those that arise from the individual's normal structure and integrity of the individual, which inhibits his/her ability to perform self-care. Orem, through the SCDT, aimed at proving…… [Read More]
Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory
There are several grand theories of nursing, and among them is Orem's self-care deficit theory. This theory is predicated a set of assumptions, including that people are distinct individuals, that they should be self-reliant, that a person's knowledge of potential health problems is necessary for promoting self-care behaviors, and that nursing is a form of action. The movie Awakenings can be used as an example of how this can be applied even to the most difficult of nurse-patient interactions.
Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory
Dorothea Orem was a staff nurse, and later moved onto educational positions within nursing. She developed her concept of self-care deficit theory to explain nursing in terms of a key interpersonal relationship between nurse and patient, where the nurse helps the patient to take care of him/herself. The underlying assumptions are that the patient is a distinct individual, and should be self-reliant. It is insufficient for a patient to simply rely on medical professionals for their health. The patient should have knowledge of his/her own health problems, and understand what they can do to address those. Understanding the issues helps the patient with self-care. Orem believed that self-care or dependent-care are learned behaviors, and that nurses can play a role in creating patients who are better able to take care of themselves. Prevention is a critical element of care in this theory.
Nursing, therefore, is a helping service. The goal of nursing is to "render the patient or members of his/her family capable of meeting the patient's self-care needs" (CurrentNursing.com, 2016). Ideally, this will help the patient to regain normal function following illness or injury, and to minimize the effects of the illness or injury. One of the roles that nurses play is to take patients who are incapable of caring for themselves and getting them to a state where they are capable of self-care. This occurs through deliberate, purposeful action on the part of the nurse, including…… [Read More]
In today's culture it is sometimes easy to forget the progress women have made in regards to determining their own future, personal freedom, and changing the definition of their societal roles. Women can run for president, take charge of multi-billion dollar corporations, decide to pursue (or not) motherhood; modern culture embraces feminism and a woman's right to choose. The freedom women have today is inherited through a long series of struggles, women slowly breaking down barriers. Kate Chopin is an early advocate for altering the role of women in society. The Awakening is an honest portrayal of an 18th century women dissatisfied with her life, and more urgently trapped by the constraints of society. Chopin demonstrates to her contemporaries that women are not defined by the societal expectations, some women can and do want more than motherhood and wifehood. This paper will argue that Chopin believed that women were held to idealized and therefore unrealistic expectations, and societal institutions limited the freedom of women.
Chapter 4 introduces the reader to the term mother-women, a moniker that refers to the ideal woman of the time. The beginning of the chapter begins with Mr. Pontellier asserting that Edna is not a mother-woman; she fails to devote herself completely to her husband and children. In the previous chapter, Leonce is disappointed with his wife, in "her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a mother's place to look after children, whose on earth was it?" (Chopin, The Awakening) in his eyes, his wife failed in her duty as mother, "In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman." Chopin uses Leonce as the personification of society, who echoes society's disapproval towards a woman who is not overly affectionate towards her children. However, while Leonce and society disapprove, Chopin does not.
She subtly hints at how children raised in a different manner than those upheld by society can benefit. She describes Edna's sons as "he would more likely pick himself up, wipe the water out of his eyes and the sand out of his mouth, and go on playing. Tots as they were, they pulled together and stood their ground in childish battles with doubled fists and uplifted voices, which usually prevailed against the other mother-tots." (Chopin,…… [Read More]