& # 8220 ; The Awakening & # 8221 ; Essay, Research Paper
The Awakening contains many symbolic characteristics, such as the manner Edna uses art, the birds
( the parrot and the mocker ) , sleep, music, and the houses Edna Pontellier lives in, but
possibly two of the most important symbols are the apparels in the novel, non merely of Edna,
but besides the other characters, and the H2O, whether it be the ocean, the gulf, or the sea.
These two symbols are perchance the most important because of their direct relationship to
Edna Pontellier. Both the H2O and her apparels have the power to non merely stress, but
aid demo precisely how and what Edna is experiencing.
Apparels appear to hold important significance in The Awakening, plenty so that they
are mentioned at about every description of the characters. Edna Pontellier starts the novel
to the full dressed and suitably dressed for a adult female of her duties, nevertheless, at her
concluding minute, she is naked on the beach. Other adult females in the narrative besides represent their
? place? and the manner they feel in the manner they dress. For illustration, Madmoiselle Reisz
ne’er changes her apparels. This could perchance typify her physical withdrawal from
anything around her, including nature and any suppressed feelings. In contrast, Edna? s
apparels represent her physical fond regard to society. She sheds her clothes the manner a serpent
sheds its tegument when it is clip for a new one and it does non suit into the old one any longer.
Edna doesn? t feel like she can suit into society any longer. Madmoiselle Reisz, on the other
manus, does non look to hold any desire to be more than what she has been given in the
society in which she lives. Therefore, she does non alter her apparels, because she does non
experience the demand for alteration in her life.
, such as Madame Leburn ever have new apparels to cover their
organic structures. This could, possibly, represent the changeless demand to cover their gender as adult females in
suppressed functions as married womans and female parents. Ednas? nudity at the terminal of the novel symbolizes
her freedom from any claims her kids may hold on her and shows how her deficiency of apparels
is equal to her deficiency of? duty? , of her household and the 1890s? society.
The Ocean is a clear symbol of freedom for Edna. The H2O is where Edna feels
replenished and she begins to recognize that she is non satisfied with her life and functions as married woman
and female parent. This happens on the twenty-four hours she learns to swim, which is something she had wanted
to carry through all summer. By larning to swim, she is empowered and becomes more
self-aware, of non merely her gender, but besides of who she is and non who society says she
The H2O in The Awakening could be seen to typify Edna? s metempsychosis into a more
self-asserting adult female. Every clip she enters the H2O, she gets stronger, until eventually her strength
is more powerful than her love for her kids, or her life. At this point she goes so far out
to sea, that the H2O takes back the strength it had geven her.
Both the H2O and the apparels in the novel are really of import symbols, both assisting
to stress Edna Pontellier? s new life. She starts the novel as a really suppressed adult female
( to the full clothed ) and? covered by society and its? rigorous functions, and so ends bare as if she is
get awaying the restricted boundaries of her apparels and of society. The H2O is a changeless
beginning of new life for Edna, and as her apparels are removed to travel into the H2O, they are
replaced by a more greater sense of power and energy, the freedom that the H2O has helped