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Awakening Passage

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   Jain 1 Arpit Jain   Mrs. Hart   English 11 H   15 September 2014   The Awakening: Consequences of Freedom   When it was reveled that the NSA was spying upon American citizens, many felt that their private lives were being intruded. This can be seen as a consequence of freedom. Another consequence of freedom can also be found in the novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, in the  passage where Edna Pontellier swims out to sea at the end of the novel, therefore committing suicide. This passage is significant to the work as a whole because Edna gains the solitude that she wishes for, and Edna can break free from her cage that she is trapped in.   The first reason this passage is significant to the novel as a whole is because Edna gains the solitude that she wishes for. The symbol of the sea represents this. Throughout the novel Edna constantly pushes herself away from society, but society has decided that people should only follow the rules, and accepts the fact that women should live at home taking care of the children, As a result of being oppressed by her responsibilities Edna decides to “wander in the aby ss of solitude” (Chopin Ch.39),   and enter “the waves that invited her” (Chopin Ch. 39). She describes the waves as “coiled like serpents around her feet” (Chopin Ch. 39). The “abyss of solitude” represent s the vastness of the world that Edna wants to explore. It is to demonstrate her remembering how vast the universe is. The waves, and the “coiled serpents” indicate the temptation that Edna is facing. The sea can be personified as a lover beckoning. It is seen in the novel that this is the way that Edna rebels against the society that won't let her have her solitude.   Jain 2 Because of Edna gaining her solitude in the form of the sea this passage is significant to the novel as a whole, and expands upon the theme that solitary is a consequence of freedom.   A final reason the passage is significant to the novel as a whole is because Edna can  break free from the standards that society holds her responsible for. This is represented in the forms of birds. Throughout the novel a bird is shown caged. It keeps on repeating the same message over and over again. This is to represent the roles, and responsibilities that society expects Edna to obey by, and she complies with them. Over the course of the novel she slowly changes her tone to repeating what she wants to do, which becomes an annoyance to other  people. In the passage as Edna is wading into the water, she sees a bird that’s  hurt falling down into the wa ter. The bird is described with the physical features of “a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water” (Chopin Ch. 39). This imagery of the bird is used to reflect that in her attempt to escape society, and spread her wings that she broke them. A “naked women” (Chopin Ch.39), is shown on the beach, which is Edna. This combined with the broken wings of the birds are used to show that women have less freedom, and are expected to fulfill a predetermined role. Because of these reasons this passage is significant to the work as a whole. This passage is significant to the work as a whole because Edna gains the solitude that she wishes for, and Edna can break free from her cage that she is trapped in. Edna gaining her solitude in the form of the sea also shows how this passage is significant to the novel as a whole. Ultimately, because Edna wants to be free, and to be able to do whatever she wants, she commits suicide to find her solitary, and to gain that freedom.   Jain 3 Works Cited Chopin, Kate. The Awakening  . St. Louis.: H.S. Stone, 1899. Print.
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