In her novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin is an artist who paints a picture for the reader with every word:"The sun was low in the west, and the breeze was soft and languorous that came up from the south, charged with the seductive odor of the sea." (12) The inclusion of such alluring and dramatic images allows the reader to see, hear, feel, smell, and live in the scene which she creates. Chopin writes to awaken the senses, and her style is one of beauty and uniqueness. As if stroking a brush across a canvas, or playing a chord on the piano, Chopin’s use of expressive, descriptive, and poignant writing is evident throughout the novel, thus adding to its overall effect.
Chopin incorporates a number of images and emotional phrases which reflect the beauty of her writing. A recurring image throughout the novel is that of the sea: "The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude, to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace." (13) Chopin gives us the ability to feel the sentiments of her characters as they wander along the shore. We can hear the soft crashes of the waves and smell the sweet, cool odor of the sea. Chopin allows us to feel the warmth and serenity that Edna feels towards the ocean. The sea is a place of comfort and contentment for Edna. Chopin uses adjectives such as "seductive" and "whispering" to illustrate this. Compelling lines such as the aforementioned are not lacking within the work. In each chapter Chopin writes with a flowing, descriptive style that...
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...isabled down, down to the water." (115) As the novel closes the reader will learn how Edna’s life and death compares to the bird. The last paragraphs of the novel end with the aura of contentment that was evident throughout the novel, without the inclusion of any harsh images. Chopin stimulates the senses one final time within the last line of the work: "There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air." (116)
Chopin writes a novel of poetic form and beauty in The Awakening. She eloquently describes each character, location, and situation, allowing the images to come to life in the reader’s mind. The emotions of Edna, as well as other characters, are felt through the poignant phrases and dramatic images which Chopin conveys. The constant inclusion of heavy description and poetic form makes The Awakening a very effective piece of writing
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