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Word Count: 1,151
Kate Chopin consistently uses avian symbolism in the novel The Awakening to represent and Enlighten Edna Pontellier She begins the novel with the image of a caged bird and throughout the story other birds and avian images appear representing freedom failure and choices that Edna the storys main character must make Throughout The Awakening Chopin uses flight and descriptions of birds to express the psychological state of mind of her main character Edna Pontellier As the story begins we are immediately introduces to the importance of avian symbolism The first spoken sentences of the novel are curiously enough squawked by a parrot rather than a main character or some other human Allez vous-en Allez vous-en Sapristi Thats all right Chopin 3 are the words yelled by this crazed caged bird Go away Go away For heavens sake is the translation of this message into English This message represents the forbidden and taboo thoughts racing through the mind of Edna Pontellier during her post-awakening period Edna longs to leave her subservient role as the loving submissive wife and mother that society forces on her She longs for something more exciting something of her own choosing and free will These lines are echoed again immediately prior to her awakening While the twins are once again playing the same songs on the piano the parrot shrieks Allez vous-en Sapristi This is the final warning that the parrot relays to Edna Edna should have listened to the parrots message and escaped from her unsatisfying life immediately Yet she chose not to heed his warning and she was destined to end her life in order to be free In addition to the parrots message the image of this hostile shrieking bird is a symbol in and of itself For like the parrot Edna is also trapped not behind the bars of a cage but by the standards of society and the role that has been
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