Awakening By Kate Chopin Thesis

Awakening By Kate Chopin Thesis-77
Edna begins as a beautiful caged parrot and the image eventually transforms into a disabled bird that flies freely.

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Some of these symbols include art, music, and houses.

These images are also used to portray the different women of the Victorian era.

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This parrot represents Edna Pontellier and the entrapment of Victorian women in general and the desire to fly to freedom, while the mockingbird represents Mademoiselle Reisz.

Women of the Victorian era were valued in the same fashion as this parrot.Art represents freedom and self-assertion as well as failure for Edna.Edna is inspired by Mademoiselle Reisz and seems to be reaching her awakening of self-expression through painting while trying to become an artist, but in the end she is too weak and fails to reach the self-fulfillment that she is seeking through art.This is especially evident in chapter six of the narrative, when Chopin is describing the “beginning of things” that represent Edna’s first steps toward self-discovery by stating that “a certain light was beginning to dawn dimly within her, –the light which, showing the way, forbids it (Perkins, 550)”. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her (Perkins, 550)”.This theme of self-awakening is more powerfully illustrated by Chopin with the use of symbols and images rather than direct character dialogue or narration.Chopin clearly demonstrates her own support of the character rebelling against the conventions of Victorian society.Although the narrator is mainly objective, it also appears at times that the narrator has sympathy for Edna and support for her female struggle.Chopin uses third person point of view, omniscient narrator to report the feelings and actions of Edna Pontellier.The narrator is anonymous but many critics believe that the narrator seems to align with Chopin’s own convictions especially since Chopin “began to write in the years in which she was trying to come to terms with her individuality, making her acquaintance with the ‘wholly convincing’ self that was no longer defined by her husband (Boren, 160)”.She lusts after a young man on the island, Robert Lebrun, who flees to business in Mexico and denies Edna in the end.She returns to New Orleans with her husband with a broken heart after their vacation and continues to feel her repressed passion, which leads her to having an adulterous affair with Alcee Arobin.


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