Symbolism In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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28 year old, daughter of military, wife of two boys, Edna, grew up in Kentucky, yet lives in Louisiana. Edna married a Créole man, not only is it a culture shock for Edna, she seems disconnected from her surroundings. With the help of symbolisms throughout the novel and a woman’s search for herself, Edna chooses death over the inability to be herself.
The novel The Awakening by Katie Chopin is set in the late 1800’s. This time is known as the Victorian era. This period was all about keeping up appearances, and obeying men. To the men of this time, women were nothing but something to own and breed with. Women must be pure, domesticated, and submissive. And if a woman wants more than that life she is considered an outcast. The wives listen to
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Like when the twins play the piano, it is pleasant and it is also to please the audience. When Mademoiselle Reisz preforms it is for herself and emotional. The twins are always dressed in the virgin robes, and mirror how woman should act in this time frame. In Victorian society using art as a practice of expression is insubordinate and uncommon. When Edna hears Mademoiselle Reisz play it sparks something in Edna that inspires her. The act of hearing the expressive art form of music awoke her love for visual art (Chp9&21). Mademoiselle Reisz uses this form of art to express and please herself and no one else. This gives Edna a reason and excuse to not conform and try to be her real true self. There now is someone in her life that is known for her beautiful piano playing. Enda too wants to be known for her self-expression, thus beginning and awakening for art and expression. Which is a visual part of Edna’s identity and voice in her…show more content…
Signifying her independence and allows her to feel freedom. Léonce and The Colonel have always paid Edna’s way in her life that she now pays for all on her own. Edna wants to forget about her husband and kids to and try to get Robert. She states “he does not own this house he does not own me”. Trying to convince Robert to come to her new house. Madame Antoine’s house is where Edna first started having romantic awakening, when she falls in love with Robert. This waking up her sexual side. She then has her affair with Alcée. Edna never seems to have any remorse for falling in love with Robert or committing adultery. She also does not care to hide her affair from her husband. She asks her husband details of Robert. Edna’s husband saw Robert in town, Edna does not hide for a second that she is in love with another man. Not only another man, but a man known to be with multiple women. Robert knows not to fall in love with married women. But he breaks his own rule and falls in love with Edna. Shortly after confessing his love to her, he takes off to Mexico. He then is gone for a while but sends letters to Madame Reisz confessing his love for Edna. After Edna’s awakenings, and her moving houses, Robert does indeed come back, but he does not tell Edna. This action alone played a huge role to Enda’s suicide. The love of her life was seen with another woman, and has been in town for two
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