Religion In The Awakening

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Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” despite being an anecdote of a woman’s path of self-discovery, is also an anecdote of a woman’s downfall while on her search for her independence. Chopin uses religion to emphasize Edna’s, the protagonist’s, “sinful” ways in the novel. Without religion in both characters and symbolism the novel would lose its impact on the readers, therefore losing its message. Chopin’s use of religion to emphasize her overall message of independence is best expressed throughout her characters. While there are many characters that can be seen as a Christ figure, according to Foster’s definition, two characters in the novel that Chopin uses to form a juxtaposition are Adèle Ratignolle and Edna Pontellier. Madame Ratignolle is described by Chopin as a “mother-woman”, a woman who “idolizes” her children and “worships” her husband while Edna is portrayed as the opposite. Edna is…show more content…
In chapter seven, while at Grand Isle, Adèle and Edna take a stroll to the beach, in which Adèle is dressed in a “pure white” dress, symbolizing her righteous path as one would assume. Edna, similarly, is dressed in white and brown linen, which, ironically, represents obedience and replaces the clothes of “pride rebellion, and sinfulness” as stated in Matthew 22:11-14. Adèle’s name, meaning kind or tender, symbolizes the kind of mother she is and the kind of mother Edna is incapable of being towards her children due to her own desires. Adèle is the model wife of the Creole society and everything Edna is casting away from. Edna despite not wanting to be like Adèle also does not desire to share a fate similar to Mlle. Reisz (Bogard, “The Awakening”: A Refusal to
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