The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a powerful story of a woman named Edna Pontellier who does not harmonize well with the Creole environment around her. The story explores Edna’s desire to stay true to herself; even if it means disregarding societal rules and causing friction between friends and family. Kate Chopin uses a variety of symbols to help the reader get a deeper understanding of the story. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the definition of the term symbol is “an action, object, event, etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality”. Symbol is derived from the Greek word meaning “to throw together”; it creates an equation between a specific object, scene, character or action and an idea. Throughout the …show more content…
However, Edna is weak and by the end of the story kills herself.
Another symbol seen frequently throughout the story is a bird, it is used to represent Edna herself. The story opens talking about two birds and how one seems to differ from the other one. “A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over: "Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!" He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood…” (1) Just like Edna the parrot is trapped inside of a cage with nowhere to go. Edna also speaks "a language which nobody understood”; no one hears nor understands what Edna is trying to accomplish, it is almost as if she is speaking a different language than the other women in her society. The final symbol of a bird is seen when Edna walks along the beach getting ready to kill herself. "All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in sight. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water" (?) The beach is empty with no living thing in sight and a bird circling to its death. This is significant in that it shows how Edna and the bird were both essentially dead before even touching the water. There was nothing the bird could do to avoid its fate, and just like the bird Edna had no other choice to drown herself because she was already dead.
The last major symbol in the story, and maybe the most
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2009. A symbol is an object, action, or event that represents something or that creates a range of associations beyond itself. In literary works a symbol can express an idea, clarify meaning, or enlarge literal meaning. Analyze a symbol in George Orwell's 1984, and write an essay demonstrating how that symbol functions in the work and what it reveals about the characters or themes of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
Symbolism in literature is using an object to portray a different, deeper meaning in a story. Symbols represent ideas or qualities that the author has maneuvered into his or her story that has meaning. There can be multiple symbols in a story or just one. It is up to the reader to interpret the meaning of the symbols and their significance to the story. While reading a story, symbols may not become clear until the very end, once the climax is over, and the falling action is covered. In William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily,” there are multiple examples of symbolism that occur throughout the story.
In The Awakening, Kate Chopin creates a protagonist that clearly demonstrates a feminist. The protagonist, Edna Pontellier seeks more from life than what she is living and starts to refuse the standards of the society she lives in. Edna has many moments of awakening resulting in creating a new person for herself. She starts to see the life of freedom and individuality she wants to live. The Awakening encourages feminism as a way for women to obtain freedom and choose individuality over conformity. Chopin creates a feminist story that shows a transformation from an obedient “mother-woman” to a woman who is willing to sacrifice her old life to become independent and make an identity for herself.
Edna seeks occupational freedom in art, but lacks sufficient courage to become a true artist. As Edna awakens to her selfhood and sensuality, she also awakens to art. Originally, Edna “dabbled” with sketching “in an unprofessional way” (Chopin 543). She could only imitate, although poorly (Dyer 89). She attempts to sketch Adèle Ratignolle, but the picture “bore no resemblance” to its subject. After her awakening experience in Grand Isle, Edna begins to view her art as an occupation (Dyer 85). She tells Mademoiselle Reisz that she is “becoming an artist” (Chopin 584). Women traditionally viewed art as a hobby, but to Edna, it was much more important than that. Painting symbolizes Edna’s independence; through art, she breaks free from her
“If you take myth and folklore, and these things that speak in symbols, they can be interpreted in so many ways that although the actual image is clear enough, the interpretation is infinitely blurred, a sort of enormous rainbow of every possible colour you could imagine” (Diana Wynne Jones). Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.In Anthem by Ayn Rand, symbols are used throughout the novel, allowing to reveal more hidden information about Equality as a person as well as how it portrays to theme.
Ranging from caged parrots to the meadow in Kentucky, symbols and settings in The Awakening are prominent and provide a deeper meaning than the text does alone. Throughout The Awakening by Kate Chopin, symbols and setting recur representing Edna’s current progress in her awakening. The reader can interpret these and see a timeline of Edna’s changes and turmoil as she undergoes her changes and awakening.
Symbolism: the artistic and poetic use of a phrase, object, or relationship to express a deeper idea. Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a retelling of Wiesel’s sacrifices and experiences as a young Jewish boy who had spent many years in concentration camps. Throughout the book, Wiesel uses an overwhelming amount of symbolism to express the deeper thoughts and feelings of the Jewish people as they did all they could to survive. Wiesel’s relationship with his father, Juliek’s violin, and the rations of food the Jews are provided with all symbolize the remnants of humanity that still remain in the Jews, who have been stripped of basically everything.
“Having added to American literature a novel uncommon in its kind as in its excellence, she deserves not to be forgotten. The Awakening, deserves to be restored and to be given its place among novels worthy of preservation”(Eble 82). Kenneth Eble is speaking of Kate Chopin in the quote above, revealing his opinion of her work. The topics mentioned by Chopin in The Awakening are highly controversial due to the time period. Nevertheless, Chopin creates an amazing structure in order to convey her message. Chopin intertwines different motifs and symbols throughout the novel in order to create meaning at the end of the novel. An important motif specific to the time period is isolation due to independence. One of the many symbols attached to this
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening controversial protagonist - Edna Pontellier - lives a personally unsatisfying life with her idealistically perfect husband; a marriage that exists solely on the satisfaction of the Creole society they live in. In the beginning of the novel, she starts to struggle with the dominance of her outer identity that consists of how everyone sees her as the beautiful wife to a perfect, rich husband. But, when she is alone or with Robert, she begins to self-reflect on her inner identity that consists of how she sees herself and the new, rebellious freedoms that she desires. In The Awakening, the frequent symbolization of birds and the manner with how Edna interacts with music and the different men in her life illustrates
In the iconic debated novel “The Awakening”, Kate Chopin’s novel takes place in the Victorian Era, which is in the 19th- century, similarly the novel was published in 1899. Edna is depicted as a woman longing for more, a woman who was looking for more than just a life of complacency and living in the eyes of society. The story uses Edna to exemplify the expectations of women during this era. For example, a woman’s expression of independence was considered immoral. Edna was expected to conform to the expectations of society but the story reveals Edna’s desires which longed for independence in a state of societal dominance. Throughout The Awakening, Chopin’s most significant symbol,
In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening a wife and a mother of two, Edna Pontellier, discovers her desires as a woman to live life to the fullest extent and to find her true self. Eventually, her discovery leads to friction between friends, family, and the dominant values of society. Through Chopin's use of Author’s craft and literary elements, the readers have a clear comprehension as to what the author is conveying.
Chopin's The Awakening is full of symbolism. Rather than hit the reader on the head with blunt literalism, Chopin uses symbols to relay subtle ideas. Within each narrative segment, Chopin provides a symbol that the reader must fully understand in order to appreciate the novel as a whole. I will attempt to dissect some of the major symbols and give possible explanations as to their importance within the text.
One theme apparent in Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, is the consequence of solitude when independence is chosen over conformity. The novel's protagonist, Edna Pontellier, is faced with this consequence after she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. "As Edna's ability to express herself grows, the number of people who can understand her newfound language shrinks" (Ward 3). Edna's awakening from a conforming, Victorian wife and mother, into an emotional and sexual woman takes place through the use of self-expression in three forms: emotional language, art, and physical passion.
In the novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin (2005) uses deep symbolism to show how the main character, Edna Pontellier, discovers her own independence in the society in which she lived. Edna was a traditional mother and wife seeking freedom and independence throughout her adult life. Chopin portrays Edna as being a rebel against her own life. The story takes place in the 1960s when women were to follow certain rules made by the society they lived in. Chopin also foreshadows the things that occur in Edna’s life through nature and death itself. Based on the many ways Chopin uses symbolic meanings through the novel, we can see the events of Edna’s life as one that rebels against society. Throughout this novel, Chopin proves that Edna’s actions
Symbolism in The Awakening is interpreted in many ways. It is important to understand the meaning of each explanation of symbolism given by every critic to fully appreciate the novel. Art, for example, becomes a symbol of both freedom and