Imagery In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Thesis- In The Awakening, Kate Chopin utilizes symbolic imagery to illustrate Edna’s inability to truly break from society, perpetuating her circular growth.

1)Hammock Scene
Portraying Edna’s weakening resolve during her first attempts to break from society, the poster illustrates a breaking rope. Constantly limiting by society, she has experienced oppressed her entire life, causing a deep desire to escape to form an identity. Edna experiences the hardships of striving to break as a “ [feeling] like one who awakens gradually out of a dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the realities pressing into her soul … the exuberance which had sustained and exalted her spirit left her helpless and yielding to the conditions which crowded her in … clutching feebly at the post before passing into the house.” (79). Through the imagery of a weight on her mind and feeble body, Chopin conveys her inability to find the strength to break the chains of the archetypal female identity. Extremely fleeting, her momentary empowerment clearly validates her circular growth rather than a building of personal development.

2)First Swim
Through the conch shell, Edna’s craving to break from the limiting island of society . Continually using the imagery of the sea as …show more content…

Chopin describes Edna “taking off her wedding ring” and “[stamping] her heel upon it, striving to crush it. But her small boot heel did not make an indenture, not a mark upon the little glittering circlet.(103), displaying that she does not possess the tools as society has only given her a “small boot heel” or the strength of character to break from the confines of her identity as a woman in society. Additionally, through highlighting the image of the undiminished ring“glittering” ring, Chopin visually illustrates the unbroken circle of her personal

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