Parallel Development Essay

1877 words - 8 pages

Literature is an art form that is difficult to master. It brings conceptual ideas into the reader’s mind with literary devices like symbolism, allegories, onomatopoeias, and much more. These two selections expressed these concepts in very distinct manners; manners that could be considered parallel to one another. Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Posionwood Bible” and Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” share several similarities. The focal point of this essay is based on the growth of two characters. Two young women that had to overcome series’ of bumps in their roads in order to live their lives according to their own principles. Barbara & Kate created characters that have experienced growth throughout their stories while utilizing diction and tone to compare and contrast situational behaviors.
Independence never felt so captivating. Shackles tied around their necks, as if they were slaves to their own lives. These “shackles” are a metaphor for their lack of freedom. Edna’s character lives in a Victorian society, in which women are held on a leash. Although Edna and Leah come from two completely opposite backgrounds, they relate to one another exceptionally well. Edna is a grown woman who Chopin portrays with an elegant tone, while Leah is a young girl (at the start of the novel) that comes from an emotionally muddled family. However, they’re both bound to live by the principles that are set before them by their opposing forces. In Edna’s case, her opposing force happens to be society’s standards and perception of the position of the woman. Edna’s husband compliments this ideology and executes it in its entirety throughout the first ten chapters of the novel. While in Leah’s situation, she doesn’t notice that she is fastened to her father’s beliefs and acts until she starts to trigger an opinion. This opinion is triggered through a literary device, and that literary device is the same device that initiates the idea that Edna has the right to be an independent woman. This literary device is known as, diction:
“But my father needs permission only from the Saviour, who obviously is all in favor of subduing the untamed wilderness for a garden.” (Kingsolver 36)
The diction in Leah’s thought is very concrete. There is a distinct sound that is developed in this passage that brings intensity to this moment. She’s aware that her father doesn’t listen to anybody other than his own “Father (God)”. At this point, it’s clear to the reader that Leah was raised on this foundation of beliefs because she speaks about it so precisely. The accuracy in her diction is a building block to her maturity in the story. On that same note of maturity, there’s a particular focus on the “coming-of-age” in both of these novels. However, although the theme is the same, the execution is vastly contrastive. In The Poisonwood Bible, the reader witnesses a physical aging process, as well as a spiritual aging. While in The Awakening, the reader is introduced to a mental aging perception of...

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