“In short, Mrs. Pontellier was not a mother-woman.“ Symbols Brids The parrot in the beginning and the mockingbird are symbolic of communication (between Edna and Reisz) and the birds ability to understand each other Edna moves out of her house with Leonce into the pigeon house as a way to gain more freedom Reisz tells Edna if she wants to fly she will need strong wings, or else she will plummet to the ground The Sea The ocean is a symbol for freedom and escape Edna learns to swim for the first time which is one of the first steps toward her desire for independence then she also decides to end her life in the ocean, a place / thing that is completely free Music The piano playing of Reisz and Adele symbolize both of these women's roles in the novel. Reisz plays gorgeously and flowingly with strong emotion, that hits Edna, representing her freedom while Adele plays very technically correct, representing her role as the perfect “mother
The bird is often used throughout The Awakening as a symbol of Edna Pontellier and Mademoiselle Reisz, and the struggles that they face during Edna’s awakening. This symbol functions to enhance the women's characters by magnifying the desire for solitude and provide a deeper context on the endeavor that many women faced during the Victorian Era as they were pressure to follow the same rules. The opening scene of The Awakening is important to understanding the complex symbol of the caged bird. Madame Lebrun, the owner of the cottages on Grand Isle, cares for two birds, a green and yellow parrot and a mockingbird, that hang on the either side of the door to her house. Throughout the story the parrot represents Edna Pontellier and the mockingbird represents Mademoiselle Reisz.
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.
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.
Chopin describes Edna’s escape through Mademoiselle Reisz hugging Edna “put her arms around me and felt my shoulder blades to see if my wings were strong, she said. ‘The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings, bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth” (Awakening Pg. 106). Mademoiselle Reisz trying to tell Edna that if she truly wants to be free she will have to be strong, independent and must not think about what others think of her.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was incredibly difficult for a woman to express her thoughts simply because she was not a man. The two novels, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, and The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, use their writing to explore what it would be like for a woman to explore herself. The Awakening is a story about a woman, Edna, who is determined to find her true self no matter what it takes. In the story, Edna leaves her husband and begins living on her own, in her own house in order to find her independence. This search for independence is interesting because I believe that it is something that I can relate to, even in this day and age.
Decisively, it can be concluded that the tension between outward conformity and inward questioning builds the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period. By Edna conforming to society’s expectations, she was able to question what she truly desired. If Edna did not conform, then Edna would have not understood that she longed for independence and the novel would have no solidified
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 her essay, “The Importance of Work,” from The Feminine Mystique published in 1963, Betty Friedan confronts American women’s search for identity. Throughout the novel, Betty Friedan breaks new ground, concocting the idea that women can discover personal fulfillment by straying away from their original roles. Friedan ponders on the idea that The Feminine Mystique is the cause for a vast majority of women during that time period to feel confined by their occupations around the house; therefore, restricting them from discovering who they are as women. Friedan’s novel is well known for creating a different kind of feminism and rousing various women across the nation. In 1942, Friedan graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and took off to New York City to fulfill her dream of becoming a reporter.
The stories, “The Story of an Hour”, “The Storm”, & “Desiree’s Baby” are being used to depict the lives of women during these times of hardship. In “The Story of an Hour”, Louise Mallard is an independent lady who possesses a weakened heart. Her marriage with Brently Mallard evolves into a more practical situation rather than romance. Even though they