Essay about Importance of the Ocean in Chopin's Awakening

874 Words4 Pages
Importance of the Ocean in Chopin's Awakening In Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, Chopin uses the motif of the ocean to signify the awakening of Edna Pontellier. Chopin compares the life of Edna to the dangers and beauty of a seductive ocean. Edna's fascinations with the unknown wonders of the sea help influence the reader to understand the similarities between Edna's life and her relationship with the ocean. Starting with fear and danger of the water then moving to a huge symbolic victory over it, Chopin uses the ocean as a powerful force in Edna's awakening to the agony and complexity of her life. Danger and beauty serve as Edna's first outlook on the ocean. Early in her development, Edna observes the ocean…show more content…
The voice of the sea speaks to the soul." (14) Edna's senses are stimulated by all the sounds of the ocean. Along with the call of the sea, Edna becomes more aware of her own self and desires, which lead her to look within herself. As Edna's relationship with the ocean becomes more intimate, she treats the ocean as if it were her lover and true desire. "The touch of the sea is sensuous enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace." The `dreaded' fear has now converted to a `sensuous' outlook. Edna is hungry to experience all the elements of the ocean and, at the same time, she is opening herself to exploring her inner feelings. With her new familiarity with the sea, Edna constructs a divergent perspective of the water and its potent force in her life. The new awareness gives Edna courage to face her fears. Instead of depending on someone to help her in the water, she decides to start swimming by herself. This act represents a major step in Edna's awakening to independence. One day, Edna becomes possessed with a power that she all of a sudden realizes she has inside her. " A feeling of exultation overtook her, as if some power of significant import had been given her soul. She grew daring and reckless, overestimating her strength. She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum
Open Document