The Awakening Bird Symbolism Essay

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Birds are gifted with the extraordinary ability to fly. Their wings propel them above the ground and over people below. They are able to view the world from an angle that no one else gets to see. This is what makes birds and wings such powerful symbols in literature. These symbols characterize characters, move the plot and develop one more of the book’s ideas. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin birds and wings are mentioned a wide variety of times. Different types of birds are indicated in the novel too. Owls, pigeons, sea birds, parrots, and other types of birds are mentioned. Chopin uses these birds to showcase a struggle and character’s emotions. She uses birds so much in her writing that the birds became a motif. Birds are a recurring pattern…show more content…
Chopin ties the bird falling back to all previous bird related symbolism, especially when Mademoiselle Reisz checks out Edna’s wings. This final mention of birds is extremely significant. Throughout Edna’s entire story birds have always been present. Birds have been telling the reader what she is struggling though. When a bird can’t fly Edna’s story, essentially her struggle, is over. Before Edna’s death Chopin describes the swirl of the waves as serpents, which strictly emphasises an evil and possibly death. Chopin writes, “The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet, and coiled like serpents about her ankles”(120). Snakes are often responsible for the death of…show more content…
Birds were always involved with any moment of significance, and they helped readers see what characters struggle with. The night of Edna’s awakening, an owl was depicted sitting in a tree. At a piano performance, where Edna awakens more, a parrot is mentioned in the text. All of these bird motifs pushed and stressed a specific theme. To distance oneself from expectation and societal norms one will sacrifice. One will sacrifice emotion, time, and acceptance. One will fight and stand for what they want, or they will fall, as Edna
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