The Awakening Essay

594 WordsDec 19, 20103 Pages
Living in the Victorian era, it was hard for a woman to realize her position in life or recognize her duties as an individual while coming in contact with the world around her. Edna Pontellier, in The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, is a mere example of these characteristics. Dealing with these attributes on her shoulders, Edna struggles with self-damnation and is on a journey to seek independence, or in other words—feel free. The first lines of the novel, Chopin describes “A green and yellow parrot which hung in a cage outside the door”. During the course of the novel, the reader will soon see that this parrot does, in fact, symbolize Edna’s character. Her place is merely just to be looked at and not to be taken seriously because she is a woman. The parrot is a possession to its owner. Edna too, is also seen as a possession to her husband. Mr. Pontellier looks at Edna “as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage”. One obstacle, THE MAIN OBSTACLE, Edna wants to break free of. In addition to the barrier of possession, Chopin further describes Edna as “blindly following whatever impulse moved her as if she had placed herself in aliens hands for direction”. This statement takes in to account, at least two things; her phase of a sleeping beauty and the phase of freeing herself from any society created responsibilities. The blindness in this case is the sleep. In the phase of a sleeping beauty, sleep is not meant to be taken literally. Sleeping encounters dreaming and awakening (things that Edna does much of). Sleeping, in the novel, is a metaphor of Edna’s oppression. She doesn’t show the world her disapproval of the position society has given her to hold. She is no satisfied with the life she has. But, as a sleeping beauty, she doesn’t understand why this is so. This phase metaphorically describes Edna’s

More about The Awakening Essay

Open Document