In the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin, symbols play a big role in bringing out the theme of Edna Pontellier’s awakening. One specific symbol defines Edna’s journey which is the bird symbol. Edna, including all the women in her time are trapped by the constraints placed upon them by a male-dominant society. But Edna is the only one who decides to live life as she pleases following her whims and not living under someone’s demands. Edna represents the birds because she thinks she is free, but birds get trapped, just like how Edna gets trapped in having to follow social norms.
In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, birds symbolize Edna Pontellier’s journey toward ultimate freedom. In the beginning, birds represent Edna feeling trapped and oppressed. For instance, the opening of the novel includes a parrot in a cage squawking at Leonce to ‘go away.’ Edna, like the bird, wants to be free from Leonce, who keeps her caged in a metaphorical. Another example lies in Edna’s experience listening to the piano, in which she has a vision of a bird flying away from a naked man. Even though it will leave Leonce vulnerable and alone, Edna wants to escape her marriage.
Alvarez writes, “Deep within her, something stirs, an itch she can’t get to….But the beating inside her is more desperate than hunger, a moth wild inside a lampshade,” (Page 83) showcasing the black bird attempting to remove itself from Yolanda’s body. Before Yolanda regurgitates the black bird, she is overwhelmed with a sexual attraction towards Dr. Payne, her therapist; the black bird swirling inside of her represents her desires. Yolanda’s character exploits her attraction and being affectionate towards Dr. Payne, but is unable to express those feelings towards him because the bird is preventing her to do so. In addition, the black bird signifies Yolanda’s inability to communicate because she believes that her words will harm the people she cares about. The bird symbolizes the manifestation of Yolanda’s words: “Delight and surprise are written all over its wing grin.
Close Reading: The Awakening Chapter I-XIII In the story, the birds symbolize women and flight represents freedom. The birds are in a cage which inhibits their flight; this can be compared to women in captivity lacking freedom. What’s important to point out is that the bird, specifically the one mentioned in the passage, speaks a language that only other birds can understand. “He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understand, unless it was the mockingbird hung on the other side of his door.” This represents women’s calls for freedom, which go ignored and are only considered by other women. The sea is most definitely a symbol of freedom.
When people hear failing, the first thing they think of would be to give up. Ha Songnon’s “Waxen Wings” describes a narrator doing the complete opposite, it’s set in Korea, about a girl,nicknamed Birdie , that wants to fly but has to overcome some obstacles that come in the way of her fulfilling her dreams, because of that this story is a tragedy. The author uses second person POV and cause and effect structure to prove that even though people fail, that does not mean that they necessarily have to give up. “Waxen Wings” can be described as a tragedy. A literary tragedy is a series if misfortunate events that a character goes through that eventually end in a disaster or catastrophic events.
The men in the story are looking in all the wrong places, where the women looked in the one spot to find the one clue that would close the entire case. The number one clue, the bird. One example of what the bird symbolizes would be Minnie’s, the wife of the murdered man’s, freedom. Birds have a choice to soar up into the sky and still have the freedom to return to earth again when they please. Minnie used to have freedom when she was able to make her own decisions about life before Mr. Wright was introduced.
Harry Flournoy is argued to represent the ideals and actions of Maya Angelou through the things he says. Maya Angelou writes in her emotional story I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, “I wouldn’t look at either of them … Mrs. Flowers had known that I would be embarrassed and that was even worse … It would be fitting if I got sunstroke and died before they came outside. Just dropped dead on the slanting porch.” Maya Angelou, near the beginning of her is insecure and lets go of her dreams and ambitions because of the challenges and roadblocks being thrown at her. In the movie Glory Road Flournoy says, ““You know--I almost didn’t come here because of a piece of pie.
For example in act three she claims she sees a bird and screams out, “Abigail, with a weird, wild, chilling cry, screams up to the ceiling. Abigail: You will not! Begone! Begone, I say!”(Pg. 109) Abigail is one of the most inconsiderate, shallow and careless person there is in the Crucible, she does not realize that she is always affecting the life of the man she is rooting to stay and have all for herself.
In the beginning of the book, the parrot bickers and shrieks towards Mr. Pontellier; this, refers to Edna. Now, the parrot withdrawals much of Edna throughout the novel since her feelings are fatigue in every aspect with Mr. Pontellier. The parrot voices Edna’s unspoken remarks which impelled her to a stage of an overwhelming sense on numbness. The parrot being caged was identical to Edna’s abandonment of freedom; lack of freedom and happiness. In comparison to the parrot being caged, the mockingbird was ideally symbolizing much more than imprisonment.
When Grete is ready to spread her wings and reveal herself as a beautiful butterfly, she finds herself obstructed by Gregor, her chrysalis. It is this failed encounter with the boarders that causes Grete to tell her parents that "[they] have to try and get rid of it". It is in this moment that Grete decides she no longer needs the chrysalis. By informing her parents of negatice stance on Gregor, she takes the final steps of breaking through the chrysalis. She has established herself as a reasonable adult, who no longer sees the need of her protector.