I had to read this book (in my senior year of high school), and a few years later, I read Madame Bovary in one college literature course. Sometime after that, it occurred to me that The Awakening and Madame Bovary tell more or less the same story, but from exactly opposite viewpoints.
The premise of both books is that a woman in an unhappy marriage tries to escape her misery, and establish her personal freedom, through extramarital affairs. While The Awakening depicts a poor put-upon woman crushed by her cruel, wicked husband, Madame Bovary depicts an arrogant and self-centered romantic rebelling against her well-meaning but bland bourgeois husband by...doing exactly the same thing.
Back in my senior year, I wrote this line to mock the attitude of The Awakening:
"But it was all right. She had won the victory over herself. She loved Big Spouse."