Scene Analysis - The Awakening

Scene Analysis - The Awakening

Length: 937 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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! She felt like some new-born creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known.
The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet and coiled like serpents about her ankles. She walked out. The water was chill but she walked on. The water was deep, but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long, sweeping stroke. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.

The Awakening, Chapter XXXIX, Page 160.

The novel “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin tells the story of Edna Pontellier, a woman, who is held in chains by the social conventions common to the late nineteenth century, where the story takes place. One day Edna awakens out of the role given to her by society and begins to listen to her inner wishes and feelings which guide her to her “self”. From now on Edna developes to an independent and liberate young woman, who lives her life for herself, not for her husband and not for her children as it would have been expected of a woman out of this time. She gives up her old life to start a new one. It seems as if Edna closes every door behind her, so that there will not be a way back into her past life even if she wanted to take it.
The passage above shows Edna at the end of her self-discovery journey. It shows her back at the place where the story had begun: at the beach of Grand Isle. After the reader has accompanied Edna through the whole novel, the story has come full circle now. The protagonist reached a point where there is no way back. But even the social conventions are too strong to be broken through by a progressive woman Edna Pontellier stands for. Although

it can not be proved textual, the reader understands that Edna at the end commits suicide and drowns herself in the sea.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Scene Analysis - The Awakening." 20 Jul 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Metaphorical Lesbian in Chopin’s The Awakening Essay

- The Metaphorical Lesbian in Chopin’s The Awakening In “The Metaphorical Lesbian: Edna Pontellier in The Awakening” Elizabeth LeBlanc asserts that the character Edna Pontellier is an example of what Bonnie Zimmerman calls the “metaphorical lesbian.” It’s important to distinguish between Zimmerman’s concept of the “metaphorical lesbian” and lesbianism. The “metaphorical lesbian” does not have to act on lesbian feelings or even become conscious of herself as a lesbian. Instead, the “metaphorical lesbian” creates a space for woman-identified relationships and experiences in a heterosexually hegemonic environment....   [tags: Chopin Awakening]

Research Papers
617 words (1.8 pages)

Symbolic Meaning of Edna’s Arms and Teeth in Chopin’s The Awakening Essay

- Symbolic Meaning of Edna’s Arms and Teeth in Chopin’s The Awakening Although characters’ personalities are described vividly in The Awakening through action, dialogue, and descriptions of clothing, little is presented of the characters physically. While Edna is alone in Madame Antoine’s house, resting, two moments occur in which specific aspects of her body are highlighted. Prior to this scene, it is known only that she is considered pretty and that her hair and eyes are a similar yellow-brown color....   [tags: Chopin Awakening]

Free Essays
614 words (1.8 pages)

Analysis on The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay example

- At times, we come to find a place in our lives where we struggle to find ourselves, to become who we are as individuals. What hinders this discover is different for all of us, and what we do to overcome what hold us back is up to us. This conflict is clearly identifiable through the character of Edna Pontellier in The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Throughout the text, we watch as Edna first oblivious to the possibility beyond the life she currently has, and as events or people in her life begin to trigger this “awakening” inside her, we see her grow into the person she wants to be, instead of the person she has to be....   [tags: edna, pontelliers, obstacles]

Research Papers
1494 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Awakening

- In their analytical papers on The Awakening by Kate Chopin, both Elaine Showalter and Elizabeth Le Blanc speak to the importance of homosocial relationship to Edna’s awakenings. They also share the viewpoint that Edna’s return to the sea in the final scene of the book represents Edna being one with her female lover and finding the fulfillment she has been seeking. We see evidence of this idea of the sea as a feminine from Showalter when she tells us that “As the female body is prone to wetness, blood, milk, tears and amniotic fluid, so in drowning the woman is immersed in feminine organic element....   [tags: Kate Chopin, homosocial relationships]

Research Papers
1620 words (4.6 pages)

The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay

- The Awakening Style Kate Chopin has style that makes her work seem more like a story told in person just for the reader than one written in a book to a diverse audience of potential readers. She tends to go into great detail over the thoughts and actions of characters, giving the reader insight they would not normally have, almost as if they were mind readers witnessing the event. When Chopin describes the situations her characters are in, she tends to utilize short, to the point sentences that are the bare minimum to cover said situation, followed by a very long sentence that expands upon the first....   [tags: literary analysis]

Research Papers
1130 words (3.2 pages)

The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay

- The Awakening by Kate Chopin has a very significant reason for the title. The title is significant for its many ways in which the main character Edna awakes to the world around her. She wakes up to better understand herself as a woman, and realizes she is unsatisfied with her life, including her sexual activity. We can see Edna’s awakening in three major stages, which lead up to the end of the book, and Edna’s death. She struggles to choose what to do with her life, wanting to go and explore and fulfill all her desires, because she has a husband and children, which she is supposed to support and take care of, like the way women were supposed to, the Victorian womanhood....   [tags: story and character analysis]

Research Papers
912 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about Mise-en-Scene in Edward Scissorhands

- Edward Scissorhands, written by Tim Burton, tells the tale of a young man who is lovable, childlike and sensitive, bewildered by the humanity around him, yet is terrifying- someone who has scissors, the deadly weaponry, for hands. Many viewers may read this film as a “Tim Burton” type of fairytale which includes both an alternative aspect and romance. However, through the presentation of mise-en-scene in this film, Burton drives in a much more serious subject of social criticism by establishing two different understandings of life in the movie....   [tags: Film Analysis ]

Research Papers
848 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis of Hieronimo in The Spanish Tragedy Essay example

- Hieronimo is a symbol for the authority of law within The Spanish Tragedy. From his soliloquy in act III scene II, one can see Hieronimo’s ambiguity in deciding whether to pursue either justice or revenge. It could be argued that Hieronimo’s actions and concerns change throughout the course of the play by the wills of others and not his own desires; thus representing the failed authority of the law. This can be shown by analysing Hieronimo, Bel-imperia, the Gods, Lorenzo and the Law. Hieronimo’s soliloquy in act III scene II is a focal point within The Spanish Tragedy as it is the awakening of Hieronimo’s awareness of Lorenzo’s villainy....   [tags: Literary Techniques, Character Analysis]

Research Papers
1328 words (3.8 pages)

The Hobbit: Thematic Analysis Essay

- The Hobbit The Hobbit, written by John R. R. Tolkien, is a fantasy novel published on September 21, 1937. It was written as a prelude to the famous series, The Lord of the Rings, written seventeen years later. The Hobbit introduces the reader to an incredibly immersive fantasy world, that enriches the reader into its epic storyline. The story takes place in a land called Middle-earth, a land filled with enchanting surprises and magical wonders. It was the perfect playground for Tolkien to develop his main character Bilbo Baggins....   [tags: literary analysis, analytical essays]

Research Papers
1279 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Porter 's Five Forces Analysis

- Section – 1 D Competitive Environment Porter 's five forces Porter 's five forces The confectionery industry is very dynamic in its nature. Things have changed within this industry very frequently before. According to (Porter, pp 4, 1985) “the collective strength of these five competitive forces determine industry profitability because they influence the prices, costs, and required investment of firms in an industry”. This model is one of the best tools available for analytical evaluation the competitive nature of the industry....   [tags: Porter five forces analysis, Management]

Research Papers
954 words (2.7 pages)

Related Searches

The language Kate Chopin uses in this passage is very pictoral and romantic. She makes use of many adjectives and comparisons to create a vivid story that catches the readers attention, for example: “[...] The foamy wavelets [...] coiled like serpents [...]” (line 8). Chopin also uses methaphors to intensify the figurativeness of this passage such as in line 4 “[...] the mercy of the sun [...]” and in line 10 “[...] the touch of the sea [...]”. But especially the last three sentences are different from the whole passage. Chopin begins every one of them anaphorically with the article “The”. Furthermore they share the same syntax, which indicates the importance of this passage for the whole novel, since these sentences reflect the last perceptions of the protagonist.
Kate Chopin effectively uses the the third person narrator allowing the reader to see the world as Edna Pontellier experiences it while at the same time to see her through the eyes of a god-like creature who already knows her destiny. No one could portray Edna more reliable than the third person narrator does. There is also a shift from the omniscient to the limited point of view towards the middle of the passage, where the third person narrator focuses on the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist which is the only non-reliable information the reader gets. Nontheless it is no useless information since it helps the reader to empathize with Edna
( line 6 ).
Edna finding her bathing suit seems to be a simile whereas the bathing suit stands for the social conventions out of the time the story takes place in. First she put it on, but as she arrived at the beach Edna “[...] cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her [...]”, just as she got rid of the unpleasant, pricking conventions which captured her inner “self”. After Edna has freed herself she feels “[...] strange and awful [...]” but also happy to have taken

this path. Also her first steps as an independent person have been staggering and insecure, yet she developed to a self-confident young woman. The expression “[...] She felt like some new-born creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known [...]” (line 6f.) points to the fact that Edna has reached the aim of her journey. Edna seeing herself as a “new-born creature” shows the helplessness of this young woman who acquited herself of the social conventions she can neither live with, nor live without. She has to realize that the time is not ripe for young woman who want to lead a self-determined life. Since Edna does not want to sacrifice her soul for her children, her husband or any other person there is only one way for her to save her inner freedom: suicide. Everything the reader learns about Ednas death he/she learns from the last sentence of this passage: “[...] The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.” (line 10f.) Chopin leaves it open whether Edna drowned accidentally or intentionally, which is a clever solution, since suicide was as proscribed as being an independent woman by a nineteenth century society.

Kate Chopin: The Awakening, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Return to