Freedom in The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay

Freedom in The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay

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Does death make people free or are they born with their natural freedom and find the heavy hands of society clasping around us as we grow older and our minds become more influenced by the people around us? Throughout the book The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Edna Pontellier finds herself pondering the thought of freedom and what it takes to achieve being free. There are many symbols, people and times of Edna’s self-refection when we see examples of this.
First of all, The Awakening was enriched with symbols and motifs for Chopin to get her point across for those who were willing to look for the deeper meaning. One of the most prominent symbols of freedom was the birds that kept on appearing. Birds have the right to be free and fly where there please, but they can be trapped and put on show for the world to see. This is metaphor for the woman in the creole culture. Edna had the right to be free, but when she married Léonce Pontellier, she became trapped and was more of an object then a person. A creole woman would never talk out of place as the book goes on Edna becomes more boisterous. Her father, the Colonel told her husband that he is being “too lenient,” with his wife and the only way to get authority is for him to “put (his) foot down good and hard,”(pg 186). He seems to believe there should be punishment for woman who acts out against their roles in society. Just like how when the parrot was bothering Old Monsieur Farival he “insisted upon having the bird removed and consigned to regions of darkness,”(pg 60). Birds are not living beings that are banished to a cellar when they make noise, they need to be free. The question is, what is the price of freedom? When Edna talks to Mademoiselle Reisz she tells Edna about the strength...


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...rest of her days.” (pg 300). Her children were holding her back from the freedom that she most disired. They were her kin, her blood, with them in the picture she could never be free. The title of mother would be forever attached to her. She feels that by killing herself that she is helping her children because they will never have to know the pain that she went through. They would never even suspect that it was suicide so they wouldn’t have to deal with the social problems that came with a mother that killed herself. When she freed herself from her kids she also freed her kids from her.
In conclusion, by the end of the book Edna realizes that the only way to gain freedom is to from death. It is no surprises that this book was considered dangerous when it was written. The symbolism of the characters and the thought provoking story line could really affect people,

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Freedom in The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay

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