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Word Count: 812
Kate Chopins novel The Awakening is full of symbolism In each chapter there is a central symbol that adds to the meaning of the story Small symbols throughout the novel such as sunshades children playing and pianos represent properties of domesticity and society rules which Edna tries to separate herself from Chopin does however give larger representative symbols to add meaning to the novel The first line of the novel is perhaps the most obvious example of symbolism A parrot screeches Allez vous-en Allez vous-en Saprtisti Thats all right which translates to Go Away Go Away For Heavens sake This crazy bird in a cage represents Ednas longing to go away and escape from the pressures of society In chapter 27 Mme Reisz says to Edna The bird would soar above the level of the plain tradition and prejudice must have strong wings It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised exhausted fluttering back to earth533 Edna did not understand this message but the reader knows it means It means that if Edna is determined to break free of societal rules than she must have the strength to fly In fact this is a foreshadowing of her failure In the last chapter Edna notices a bird with a broken wing was beating the air above fluttering circling disabled down down to the water558 She went down in the water naked to die The nakedness is a very important symbol in this novel Clothing or lack there of is a symbol In the beginning Edna is projected to be a domesticated societal woman She is well dressed with a sunshade speaking to a young man She begins this novel appropriately and fully dressed Slowly as the story continues Edna sheds her clothes This shedding represents the casting off of societal rules in her life Finally at the end of the novel she has shed everything in her quest to find herself She dies
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