Imagery In The Awakening

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Edna Pontellier is on vacation in Grand Isle near New Orleans in the novella The Awakening by Kate Chopin, but she was raised on a farm setting in Kentucky. Edna’s childhood memories reveal to the reader her current interest in independence when the thing that reminds her of her childhood is the “sight of the water stretching so far away… made a delicious picture that [she] just wanted to sit and look at” (24). The yearning diction of “delicious” and “wanted” indicate Edna’s pleasure and desire with a scene that relates to her upbringing. The imagery of “stretching so far away” has a free, limitless tone because of the diction of “spread” and “far” giving a connotation of vastness and therefore relating to limitlessness and freedom due to the…show more content…
The reminiscence of this image of “running away,” connoting escape reflects her present desire to be free. To be trying to escape “prayers,” also represents Edna’s desire for independence because prayers connote a dependence on a Deity. The idea that she wants to run away from that shows that Edna wants to be able to self-govern herself. In description of her present religious life, Edna says she is, “just driven along by habit” (25), revealing a dull tone suggesting that she is uninterested in religion and wishes to be free of it. Her present religious life parallels her childlike views with “driven” and “running,” both suggesting her desire to break free since they are both motion words suggesting her desire to escape. The diction of “driven” suggests a mechanical tone and the word “habit” also helps to show that it is an automatic routine, not something she does out of interest. The connotation of boredom that accompanies this tone implies that the negative opinions on religion she had growing up are returning. The quote describing her Kentucky church services, “read in a spirit of gloom,” (24) also indicate the similarities between her old and present way of thinking. The image of “spirit of gloom” parallels the negative tone used to describe how she is presently “just driven along by habit.” Because of Chopin’s use of tone, diction, and imagery, Edna’s childhood parallels and reflects her present wish for independence and
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