Theme Of Language In The Awakening By Kate Chopin

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There are few stories of Chopins which do not foreground language. Language makes the main body of a text. When used correctly it can be manipulated to present certain themes. Throughout the novel, ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin, the language used in the text conveys the struggles of the main character to find her own identity. The way Chopin uses dialogue, a secret language and the narrator’s descriptions relate to the theme of identity, and often places it subtly at the centre of the reader’s consciousness. It would be difficult to read ‘The Awakening’ without an awareness of Chopin’s clever use of certain phrases or words to present the concepts of different identities within the text. This essay will explore in depth the relationship between Chopin’s use of language and the concept of identity. The reader is introduced to the concept of identity in ‘The Awakening’ almost immediately. Within the first few pages of the novel, the use of the narrator creates a patriarchal sense of social identities (Ramos 147). This socially constructed identity is the first of the many that Edna grapples with in the text. It is the identity of women within the time period of the text. In the words of Dix, Edna’s identity is meant to be that of a typical American wife who will control the home, children and entertain socially yet remain obedient to her working husband (146). ‘Looking at his wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property’ (Chopin 4). The
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