Awakening Essay Symbolism

Edna’s attempts to escape her husband, children, and society manifest this arrested flight, as her efforts only land her in another cage: the pigeon house.While Edna views her new home as a sign of her independence, the pigeon house represents her inability to remove herself from her former life, as her move takes her just “two steps away.” Mademoiselle Reisz instructs Edna that she must have strong wings in order to survive the difficulties she will face if she plans to act on her love for Robert.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3 : The Awakening as a Feminist Novella Upon its initial serial publication, this novella caused quite a stir because it presented a female protagonist who was so blatantly refusing the society she lived in and furthermore, because she was so sexually aware.

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Houses are where one resides and thus are reflections on the soul of the inhabitant.

The fact that Edna has multiple homes is important because they reflect her changing state of mind.

The ocean symbolizes freedom and the metaphorical notion death as well but it also represents something that is larger than life and almost impossible to comprehend.

For this essay use one symbol for each paragraph and tie them all together with a conclusion discussing the overall importance of symbols and how they function in the book.

All of the important quotes listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text they are referring to.

The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in a maze of inward contemplation" (14).(Edna thinking of Kentucky) “of a meadow that seemed as big as the ocean to the very little girl walking through the grass, which was higher than her wait.Three of the most prominent symbols used are birds, houses, and the ocean and each means something different in the context of the story.Birds represent freedom and the ability to fly but are also symbols for something that is strong yet delicate.Throughout The Awakening by Kate Chopin, much of the deeper meaning in the story is revealed through a number of important symbols.These symbolic elements and images make the connection between Edna’s world and her eventual awakening more potent and meaningful for the reader.She threw her arms as if swimming when she walked, beating the tall grass as one strikes out in the water" (17).“But that night she was like the little tottering, stumbling, clutching child, who all of a sudden realizes its power and walks for the first time alone, boldly and with over confidence. Even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life" (50).“A certain light was beginning to dawn dimply within her—the light which, showing the way, forbids it" (53).(Mademoiselle Reisz) “The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.She could have shouted with joy" (23).“The years that are gone seem like dreams-if one might go on sleeping and dreaming—but to wake up and find—oh! It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth" (82).“A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled, down, down to the water" (108).“She cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the first time in her life, she stood naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited her" (108). Because of the way Edna chooses individuality over conformity, sexuality over repression, and art over entertaining she is acting as a feminist—even at a time when this was not a common concept.For this essay choose three of four aspects to her character or events in the story (such as her getting her own place or taking a lover for instance) and examine them closely to look for ways in which Edna promotes feminist ideals Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Context of the Victorian Era In the Victorian society in which this novel takes place, there are many strict behavioral and other conventions that must be adhered to, particularly for women.Edna’s society places a great deal of emphasis on women performing a rigid set of requirements, including being perfect wives, doting mothers, and skillful entertainers.Women in “The Awakening”such as Adele perform their role perfectly and seem completely fulfilled by it while Edna finds it leaving her feeling empty.

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