How Does Kate Chopin Use Symbols In The Awakening

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November 7, 2014 Dr. Russ English Literature The Awakening: Use of Symbolism and Imagery The awakening is about a woman Edna Pontellier whom on a holiday at the affluent holiday resort in Grand Isle discovers herself and changes from the norms of her community to be an outspoken person not afraid to express her thoughts and feelings. The author, Kate Chopin brings the themes of her book mainly by use symbolism in various instances. Symbolism refers to use of symbols to bring out a certain meaning. It is a style of writing often used by many authors; it strengthens their writing and adds a deeper meaning to their material. Imagery on the other hand is use of descriptive language while appealing to all senses. The two literature styles make writing more appealing and interesting to read. Use of symbolism takes many forms in this book; one of…show more content…
Chopin writes: “The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace (Chopin 34).” In this aspect, the sea is portrayed as a lover or as a source of comfort and compassion. The sea is shown as one of the places Edna enjoys being at and feels in control. The sea also brings childhood memories of the Kentucky fields. Edna learns to swim in the gulf and eventually escapes to the sea. Water of the sea is associated with baptism, a rebirth of sort. Edna leaves her past life and starts one with many possibilities for the future. Edna kills herself in the sea at the end of the novel. A place that symbolized a start of many possibilities becomes a blank all-encompassing void with both a promise and a threat. The sea depicted as a source of empowerment is the end of the same feeling of self-awareness and control. The author crafts and intriguing end to the story that leaves the reader wondering if the main character sipped too much control from the sea of empowerment. The twist comes in where source of her much boasted control is where it

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