Water Symbolism In The Awakening

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Kate Chopin created a very complex character named Edna Pontellier in her novel The Awakening. Mrs. Pontellier is peculiar because her thoughts are consistently drury and she is insatiable. Chopin uses many different strategies to develop Mrs. Pontellier’s character such as imagery but the most prominent strategy is symbolism. Symbols featured in the story include birds, two lovers, a widow, and water. Whenever water appears in a story or novel it can often represent baptism, rebirth, and/or death. In the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, the author uses water as a symbol to function as both rebirth and death to reveal the reasons why Edna Pontellier leads such a drury life. Water’s constant appearances in The Awakening signifies Mrs. Pontellier’s constant death and rebirth. The water is significant because is symbolizes two different ideas simultaneously. At the beginning of the novel, Mrs. Pontellier is terrified of the water however she wishes that she was not and she longs to swim. Mrs. Pontellier’s fear of the water symbolizes her fear of two …show more content…

These events that contains water help the reader to comprehend Mrs. Pontellier’s logic behind her actions. Water is the most prominent symbol in the novel because it directly affects Mrs. Pontellier. For example, the two lovers and widow symbolize components of Edna’s life that she may feel she is lacking; however she never interacts with these characters. Mrs. Pontellier repeatedly comes into contact with water and it modifies her character each time she experiences it. This is why water stands out as a symbol as opposed to the other symbols featured in the story. The layers of Mrs. Pontellier’s character are infinite and the analyzation of her character could be a whole other novel in itself, however by using symbols Kate Chopin helps the reader to uncover the very first

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