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Word Count: 1,710
Both Life in the Iron Mills and The Awakening represent the tragic death of an artist Rebecca Harding Davis describes the life of Hugh an aspiring artist confined to his role as a lower class mill worker Kate Chopin portrays Edna Pontellier as a talented painter similarly confined by her role as a wife and mother Both Edna and Hugh possess an artistic talent that leads them to question the meaning of their existence Each character seeks to represent truth or emotions that transcends their contemporary social setting Ednas search for passions and Hughs longing for expression and beauty lead them both beyond the social confines of their times As a result the strict societal role by which they define themselves shatters leaving Hugh and Edna to look beyond the accepted roles of men and women of the time to search for their true identities Both Life in the Iron Mills and The Awakening end with the seemingly tragic death of the artist Yet both Hugh and Edna obtain a brief true happiness by themselves becoming artistic creations that transcend their contemporary social worlds Edna and Hugh use their art as a form of expression Hugh creates his grotesque sculpture of a woman ravaged by hunger to express a deep need that he cannot communicate in words While attempting to explain the appearance of the statue Hugh says I dunno It mebbe Summat to make her live I think like you Whiskey ull do it in a way Davis 33 Hugh fails to communicate verbally the need and hunger for life in his statue to his boss and the doctor Rather everything Hugh ever wished to express found a voice in his sculpture His search for beauty and happiness as well as the utter frustration resulting from his fruitless search find their way into the statue in a way words could never express Edna expresses her own sensuality in her painting For Edna painting
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