The Valpo Core Reader


Deanna Bradley

Document Type

Comparison and Contrast Essay

Publication Date



Although Kate Chopin's The Awakening and Kalli Chouri's Thelma and Louise were written over one hundred years apart from each other, and on the surface appear to deal with two completely different subject matters, the real meaning of each story is the same. Both stories, as unrelated as they may seem, focus on the continuous self-realization of their main characters; or as Susan Rosowski explains, it is a "movement . . . inward, toward greater self-knowledge and [knowledge about] the nature of the world" (49). Both Thelma and Edna, our main characters, start out as relatively weak and subservient creatures who progress into strong and independent women as their self-awareness grows. Another striking similarity is that both stories received harsh and critical reviews from the experts of their times. To read or watch these two stories, and take them at only face value, one might believe that the statement above is completely incorrect, that these stories could not be more different from one another. I encourage you to read further, and you will understand the deeper, more profound meaning of each of them.