The novel “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin written in 1897 it is about a woman named Edna Pontellier. Edna doesn’t know what her place in life is; at least she thinks she doesn’t. Woman in the 1800’s didn’t have a lot of independence and when woman married they were supposed to be devoted to their husband and family. Edna however was not devoted as she was supposed to be and fell in love with another man and tried to live another life but later realizing society was not going to let that happen. Chopin uses symbols such as birds and the sea to show the conformity of women and their desire of freedom and independency.
Chopin in the beginning of the book uses the birds to symbolize Edna that she is trapped just like the bird and she had not awaken to this yet. Edna’s love for Robert grows stronger as the story carry’s on. She realize that she is just like the bird trapped, they are not wanting anything outwardly held against them they just want to be set free. Edna cannot fly to her freedom she is held down by society and the conformity of woman in this age and mainly held down by her family. Edna husband Leonce is starting to notice that the other woman in Grand Isle are very family oriented and gives the example that they are “fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood” (638). Edna does not nurture her children like all the mothers do and she thinks that she has made them very strong and that she has done enough for them. She also feel
that her children are weighing her down and that she has given up her life for them which causes her to want more freedom. As the book goes on a friend of Edna’s Mademoiselle Reisz tell her that if she wants to be free and she wants to break out of conformity that she must be strong like a bird. “The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the...