This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Awakening Essay

2043 words - 8 pages

The Awakening is a story full of symbolism and imagery that can have many different meanings to the many who have read it. I have read several different theories on Kate Chopin’s meaning and though some are vastly different, they all seem to make sense. It has been said that Kate Chopin might have been ambiguous just for this reason. At some point, almost everyone struggles with knowing or not knowing their purpose in life, and therefore it seems, that on some level, most who read the story about Edna Pontellier can relate to her in some way. I believe that those who have theorized about this story, have done so based upon their own struggles with the same issue. To me, life is all about self discovery and what one does upon their self discovery. Each time that I read this story, I can feel the pain and the turmoil that Edna experiences before and after her awakening.
     The ocean is the center and foundation of this story. The ocean is also part of the scenery and the background, without the ocean, there would be no story. Not only is the ocean the center and the foundation, it is also a symbol of many things in this story. To me, the ocean in this story takes on human characteristics in that to me, it symbolizes a seducer or seductress. The ocean also becomes an escape from reality and symbolizes life itself. The ocean is important because it is what helps bring Edna into her awakening and that is good, in the sense that it helps Edna into finding herself. However, the ocean is evil in that it is responsible for Edna’s demise.
     I believe that in the beginning of this story, Edna has not yet discovered who she is or what she really wants out of life. Edna has come to the Grand Isle as a dutiful wife and mother who grew up in an oppressive, unloving and un-nurturing home without her mother. Edna’s marriage is not a loving one, neither she, nor her husband have an emotional connection to each other. Edna goes about her life as a mother and wife in a mechanical fashion, she doesn’t have the mind for it and it’s obvious that her current position where she wants to be although at first she doesn’t see it yet. Edna most likely has never experienced any sort of love or connection with anyone. She doesn’t seem to think very highly about her husband, father, or sisters. Her love for her children is flighty at best. It’s as if she’s been locked in a cage most of her life and has received very little attention leaving her love starved and lonely. I think that she is probably too ripe for her awakening by the time that it happens, which is why her awakening becomes so tumultuous for her. It’s as if she’s been in her cage so long, that once she is released, the results are almost too much to bear.
     Edna’s awakening begins with the ocean and I feel that the way Kate Chopin describes the ocean in the beginning of the and throughout the story makes the ocean seem like a seducer or seductress, enticing Edna and awakening her imagination,...

Find Another Essay On The Awakening

The Awakening Essay

1228 words - 5 pages . While many women felt dissatisfied with their lives, they would not come out and say it. However, in 1899, Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening, which showed women that they were not alone. This novel showed the discriminatory views and treatment towards women. It also distinctly indicates the dissatisfaction that women felt in their lives. Because of the roles that society has given them, women are not able to seek and fulfill their own psychological and

The Awakening Essay

990 words - 4 pages , and talked about life then they said "good night".So at this point I really don't know how to feel I think I just kind of stopped feeling all together. Just then I looked up and it hit me the Awakening, it was a tidal wave, a hurricane, a complete bliss, maybe even if you believe in it heaven on earth. The Awakening was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined it could be. The Awakening had everything a person desired even sexual desire

The Awakening

1554 words - 6 pages Kate Chopin wrote for a reason and with a sense of passion and desire. She lived the way she wanted to and wrote what she felt, thought, and wanted to say. Kate wrote for many years and her popularity was extreme until critical disapproval of her novel, The Awakening, a story that portrayed women’s desires of independence and control of their own sexuality. Most men condemned this story, while women applauded her for it. Kate wrote with a sense

The Awakening

915 words - 4 pages The Awakening, a well known book by Kate Chopin, written about a lady during the “Awakening” when so much chaos and trouble was going through the streets of the city. The main character of the book is Edna Pontellier. Throughout the book, Edna had many dilemma’s in her own personal life, and in advance, she had her life in chaos along with the society that affected her as well. 19th century America was a whole new generation coming up to a new

The Awakening - 819 words

819 words - 3 pages The Awakening of Self Reliance "We must trust ourselves and trust the divinity within each of us". The nineteenth century poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote this quote in his essay "Self Reliance". One might find an example of self-reliance in Edna Pontellier, a character in Kate Chopin's novel "The Awakening". For many years, Edna's self reliance is locked and bound by a loveless marriage and an unwanted lifestyle. When

The Awakening - 735 words

735 words - 3 pages In Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Grand Isle society expects women to be subordinate to their children. Edna Pontellier's society flourishes with "mother-women," who, "idolize their children, worship their husbands and esteem it to a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals". The characters of Adele Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz represent what society views as suitable and unsuitable woman figures. Mademoiselle Ratignolle is the

The Awakening - 1095 words

1095 words - 4 pages In the novel, "The Awakening," by Kate Chopin, while some may find Edna irresponsible and egocentric, she could also be realized as a woman only trying to find herself and her happiness in a society that was to shape every piece of her existence. The interactions she held with people, such as her husband, Robert, her children and even society as a whole during this time period, were what tore at her constantly and eventually brought Edna to her

The awakening

1855 words - 7 pages Symbolism in Kate Chopin's The AwakeningKate Chopin's The Awakening is a literary work full of symbolism. Birds, clothes, houses and other narrative elements are powerful symbols which add meaning to the novel and to the characters. I will analyze the most relevant symbols presented in Chopin's literary work.BIRDSThe images related to birds are the major symbolic images in the narrative from the very beginning of the novel:"A green and yellow

The Awakening - 1569 words

1569 words - 6 pages . During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, women in particular were not able to express themselves because of society’s standards, and the way men viewed them at the time. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin she uses Edna to show that society’s norms made it difficult for a women to express themselves fully. Due, to these particular standards that women were supposed to follow we see the battle between Edna’s personal values and

The Awakening

1893 words - 8 pages social matters related to women. Her time period consisted of other female authors that focused on the same central theme during the era: exposing the unfairness of the patriarchal society, and women’s search for selfhood, and their search for identity. In Chopin’s novel The Awakening, she incorporates the themes mentioned above to illustrate the veracity of life as she understood it. A literary work approached by the feminist critique seeks to

The Awakening - 1249 words

1249 words - 5 pages The Awakening is set in 1899, a time when the Industrial Revolution and the women's movement were just beginning, yet still overshadowed by the attitudes of society. Kate Chopin's idea that a woman’s needs were important was radical, especially since women were not considered independent, and women’s rights were just beginning to be fought. Edna's major conflict was her need for independence and personal fulfillment while still trying to

Similar Essays

The Awakening Essay 1000 Words

1000 words - 4 pages The novel The Awakening occurs in the late 1890s. During this time period, women were the targets of unfair treatment and sexism. An example of this unfairness is that women were expected to stay home with the children while the men worked. Edna Pontellier does not want to live this lifestyle. Mrs. Pontellier wants to be able to voice her opinion and have her opinion count. In the novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin describes a woman who discovers

The Awakening Essay 531 Words

531 words - 2 pages The Awakening "This book should be required of all high school students" The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, in a classic work of literature that should be required reading for all high school students. It truly depicts internal struggles of women in the early nineteenth century through its main character, Edna Pontellier. At the time of the novel's publication in 1899, it was seen as inappropriate literary trash. However, this was not

The Awakening Essay

1479 words - 6 pages The Awakening      The novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, was written in the late nineteenth century in St. Louis after her husband Oscar died of a severe illness. Her book appeared in 1899, after she was idolized by many novels written by Darwin and Sarah Orne Jewett. Her first attempts at writing were just brief sketches for a local newspaper that was only short descriptions of her life in Louisiana. However

The Awakening Essay 794 Words

794 words - 3 pages Edna Pontellier's so-called "awakening" is her realization that she is a disposable object in her environment, the patriarchal Creole society of the 19th century. She slowly recognizes in The Awakening that she has never been honest with herself about her true feelings and desires, and grows to understand that a woman in her lifetime will never be seen as an independent person capable of making decisions independently. However, her "awakening