Symbols in The Awakening by Late Chopin Essay

Decent Essays

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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