All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in sight. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water. Pg 770, Chapter XXXIX The sea, this "water of the Gulf," is the deepest, most mysterious place Edna has ever explored. Until now, Edna had lived her life on the "white beach," a perfectly virginal island of blind men leading even more blind women. But Edna dips her toes into the dark waters and now she wishes to leave the island and swim out to a better place; or soar overhe... ... middle of paper ... ...e and felt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were strong .
Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is about the slow awakening of Edna Pontellier, a young married woman who pursues her own happiness of individualism and sexual desires in a Victorian society. As a result, Edna tries to makes changes in her life, such as neglecting her duties as a “mother-woman” and moving into her own home. But she soon realizes that nothing can change for the better. Feeling completely hopeless, Edna chose to die as a final escape from the oppression of the Victorian society she lives in. Back at the beach at Grand Isle, Edna walks along the beach and watches a bird with a broken wing crashing down into the waves right before her eyes.
The narrator says, "She could only realize that she herself... was in some way different from the other self. That she was ... ... middle of paper ... ... swim to her death, "...There beside the sea, absolutely alone, and for the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air...and the waves invited her"(115). For Edna this was the freedom that she had been working for and had finally achieved. The tragedy of Edna Pontellier's death was not a cowardly retraction of her goal to become an independent woman, but rather a daring act of her courageous soul and the only way for her to free herself form the trials of her world. The Awakening shows the independence of a woman in need of change and the courage that it takes to pursue individual goals.
Listening to this piece Edna envisions a solitary, naked man with an “attitude […] of hopeless resignation” (47). This scene presents solitude in many different ways. The figure standing alone and naked near the “desolate rock” illustrates the mood of solitude and resignation. I was reminded of that scene at the end of the novel in chapter 39 where we find a description of a very similar situation. Now it is Edna Pontellier herself standing alone on the beach at Grand Isle.
She goes about her life rather passively, a subordinate to her husband. Her first awakening into a defiant, back-boned character, begins in chapter three. ‘’It was strange and unfamiliar; it was a mood’’ (15) is how Chopin describes the stirring of her awakening. When she looks out, the sea is described as a ‘’seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamouring, murmuring-‘’ (34) creature. A symbol of her soul, it was now rising.
In the novel Lord Of The Flies by William Golding, a group of English schoolboys crash on a deserted island miles away from any type of civilization. What starts out as a “paradise” turns into a dystopia. The boys are isolated from any supervision and understand that they can do whatever their hearts desire. Their surroundings are what cause their descent into savagery and their loss of civilization. There are no parents, which cause the boys to turn on each other, and they’re completely surrounded by the silence of nature.
The parrot is not able to communicate its feelings just like Edna whose feelings are difficult to understand, incomprehensible to the members of Creole society. In contrast to caged birds, Chopin uses wild birds and the idea of flight as symbols of freedom. This symbol is shown in a vision of a bird experienced by Edna while Mademoiselle Reisz is playing the piano. "When she heard it there came before her imagination the figure of a man standing beside a desolate rock on the seashore. He was naked.
She watched as his body drifted back and forth until he was no longer visible. He would forever remain under the sweeping waves only as a faint memory, one moment in a world of infinities. The bird never again returned to the forest or saw another golden cage. She spent the rest of her days dancing with the wind and singing sweet songs.
Edna had found her old bathing suit still hanging, faded, upon its accustomed peg. She put it on, leaving her clothing in the bath-house. But when she was there beside the sea, absolutely alone, she cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited her. How strange and awful it seemed to stand naked under the sky! how delicious!
It is for this reason that nobody understands her and what she is going through. A little further into the story, Madame Reisz plays a ballad on the piano. The name of which "was something else, but [Edna] called it Solitude.' When she heard it there came before her imagination the figure of a man standing on a desolate rock on the seashore His attitude was one of hopeless resignation as he looked toward a distant bird winging its flight away from him" (25). The bird in the distance symbolizes Edna's desire of freedom and the man in the vision shows the longing for the freedom that is so far out of reach.