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Free Awakening Essays: Reader Response Chopin Awakening Essays

Reader Response to The Awakening I very much enjoyed this story, almost hard to believe that it was written in 1899! I can imagine that it was very shocking to read of a womans sexual awakening. I found the opening imagery very interesting, could this beautiful bird in the cage symbolize Edna? Very interesting that in the opening lines Chopin is having a beautiful and caged creature telling satin to go away, to get out. And in French yet, the language of love. And a mocking bird on the other side of the door with his maddening persistence. A mocking bird only repeats sounds –not words– what does this represent? The Farival twins play a duet from Zampa in which a lover dies in the sea not only in the opening scene but later in the story as well –Chopin likes to give us a glimpse of what is to happen later in the story. I found this footnote very interesting because the last time I read the story I did not know what Zampa was about –there was no such footnote. And what is the deal with the woman in black who is constantly folllowing the young lovers around and saying the rosary? I could not help but think that perhaps she was saying prayers for Edna and Robert more than for the two she follows. Imagry of the sea is every where, and always seems to be calling out to Edna, is it the Gulf-Spirit that she joins in the end? One of the interesting things that I found was the symbolism of Edna learning to swim, it had stuck out in my mind when I initially read the piece as I felt that it was symbolic of her emerging sense of freedom, her awakening and then the fear that she has because of this. Her learning to swim was symbolic of her empowerment. Was it the fear of her own power that caused this panic that she felt, if for only a second of time (on p.68) when she feels that she swam out to far? When I had read the text I thought of the references to the moonlight as illuminating how she was beginning to feel about Robert as she watched his figure pass in and out of the strips of moonlight –this happens twice at the end of chapter ten. This is symbolic of Ednas struggle with the concept of romantic versus sexual love. Is that why his figure passes IN and OUT of the strips of moonlight? Its almost as if Chopin conveys this struggle within a single line and repeats that line for emphasis!

symbolaw Symbols and Symbolism – Birds as a Symbol in The Awakening

Birds as the Symbol of Bondage and Freedom in The Awakening

Birds that are enclosed in cages indicate solitude and bondage; those that roam in the open air above the seas represent freedom and happiness. The captivity or freedom of these animals is the symbolism that Chopin uses to illustrate the captivity Edna experiences from society and the freedom she desires. Through this vivid bird imagery in her novel The Awakening, Chopin elucidates the struggle and freedom Edna encounters.

From the beginning of the novel, the author supplies bird imagery to represent captivity and solitude. The “green and yellow parrot, which h[angs] in a cage outside the door [of Madame Lebrun’s home], ke[eps] repeating over and over: ‘Allez vous-en,’ [come in]” (43). The pleas of the parrot parallel with those of Edna, a desire for communication. She longs for a companion to whom she can pour her heart and soul into, without being reminded of the restrictions and cares of Victorian society; a relationship that she did not have with her husband, but with Robert. Though E…

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