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Word Count: 753
Throughout Kate Chopins The Awakening numerous scenes of birth and renewal are depicted Various symbols placed throughout the book show Edna Pontelliers awakenings For instance many references are made to oceans and water It is in the water that Edna has her first rebirth but it is also the place where she chooses to die Water symbolizes life which is the reason that Ednas renewal takes place there but it also symbolizes darkness and death Birds which are featured frequently in the story symbolize Edna and in many cases they foreshadow whats to become of her or they show her renewal of life The imagery of birds throughout the book is used to symbolize freedom which is exactly what Edna was trying to achieve from her husband children and all the other people that antagonized herEdna has struggled all summer to learn to swim She has been coached by the men women and children on Grand Isle Swimming provides Edna with strength and joy and yet makes her feel just like a child But that night she was like the little tottering stumbling clutching child who of a sudden realizes its powers and walks for the first time alone boldly and with overconfidence She could have shouted for joy She did shout for joy as with a sweeping stroke or two she lifted her body to the surface of the water 47 This passage marks Ednas rebirth or renewal Here she is described just like a child learning to walk as she swims for her first time alone This scene also foreshadows the ending for here in the ocean is where Ednas first rebirth occurs and in this same place she will take her lifeBirds are also major symbolic images in the story Flight which is associated with birds acts as a stand-in for awakening The ability to spread your wings and fly is a symbolic theme that occurs often in the novel Mademoiselle Reisz
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