The Sea And Music In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

765 Words4 Pages
Over 50 % of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. Depression itself is often seen as a growing dilemma in Edna Pontellier's life, as she grows more and more intolerant towards her problems of being enslaved by her children and dominated by men. However, throughout the storyline of The Awakening, Kate Chopin uses the sea and music as symbols to reveal Edna's compelling desires to be free and how one must break away from society to achieve an independent self unit. In effect, these symbols help the reader understand the ultimate surrendering Edna has to undergo to unshackle herself from Victorian reform.
The first initial step in Edna's journey begins at Grand Isle, where she and all other rich Victorians spend their summers at.
…show more content…
However one can notice the different mindset of Edna. She caves into her desires and is on the path to kill herself. When she approaches the shoreline, the sea brings a familiar friendly feeling, “The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet and coiled like serpents… The touch of the sea is sensuous…” (pg. 156). Edna returns to the source where she felt first alive since childhood. However the intricate details about the sea her desires consume her both physically and mentally now. The sea represents her state of mind has to alter around her desires. During the last moments of her life she remembers Mademoiselle Reisz, “The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies!” (pg. 156). As it seems in Edna's eyes, she has been able to defy Victorian society. The music which she cherishes leads to her succumption by the sea, The remembrance of Mademoiselle and music itself finally completes the foreshadowing shown at the beginning of the novel with her first encounters. It also reveals what she believes to be the answer to all her problems. In result, Edna commits suicide, not out of depression but out of self servitude towards her
Open Document