Importance of Symbols Essay

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Importance of Symbols In all novels the use of symbols are what make the story feel so real to the reader. A symbol as simple as a bird can mean so much more then what you see. Whereas a symbol as complicated as the sea, can mean so much less then what you thought. It is a person perception that brings them to the true meaning of a specific symbol. Symbols are message within a word that must be analyzed to discover. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin conveys her ideas by using carefully crafted symbols that reflect her characters' thoughts and futures. Early in the novel, while Edna attempts to escape from society's strong grasp, birds emphasize her entanglement by forecasting her actions and monitor her development by reflecting her…show more content…
Mademoiselle Reisz says, "it is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth" (83). This bird symbolizes Edna?s struggle to become the master of her own life as well as her failure to achieve this goal. Mademoiselle Reisz understands that Edna cannot fight society and uses birds to demonstrate this knowledge. The bird, like Edna, is the only one "who possessed sufficient candor" to tell the truth about society (23). Finally, Edna moves to what she calls her exhausted "pigeon house." The name that Edna chooses for this house implies the defeat of a bird that, in turn, implies the defeat of Edna. Throughout Edna's life, birds reflect her actions and feelings. All through the book, sleep is an important and reoccurring subject. Edna often sleeps in order to recover from the stress of her "awakenings." After her first solo swim she feels the "physical need for sleep [begin] to overtake her; the exuberance which had sustained and exalted her spirit left her helpless and yielding to the conditions which crowded her in" (34). She needs sleep to repair her disheveled emotions after her aesthetic and physical awakenings. Without sleep, Edna is physically and mentally unable to realize her ambitions. Another symbolic example of Edna sleeping occurs at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Cheniere Caminada. There, Edna is overcome by her emotions during service. She realizes that she is going against
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