Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Importance of the Parrot in The Awakening
"Go away! Go away! For heaven’s sake! That’s all right!" (1) Chopin opens her poetic novella, The Awakening, not with the dialogue of a character, but with the ramblings of a brash parrot. Immediately, Chopin compels her readers to ponder what significance, if any, these seemingly random words will have in the following tale. Yet, it is not until the final pages that we recognize the bird’s true importance and meaning. The parrot, though seldom referred to within the text, comes to symbolize Edna’s role in society and the woman she becomes as she is spiritually awakened.
At first impression the parrot’s bold demeanor creates an image of eccentricity. His spirited exclamations give him an air of impertinence, defiance, and intelligence that one would not expect of such a bird. Chopin portrays Edna in the same light, showing that perhaps as the parrot may deviate from the norm, so does Edna, who digresses from the society in which she lives. She does not conform to the image of a typical woman in society, playing the roles of a devoted mother and wife. Edna ignores these standards by engaging in two extra-marital affairs and by placing her own life before those of her children. Her desire to live as she pleases lies in direct opposition to the duties she is expected to perform, and she refuses to put on this performance to satisfy society. As a result, Edna seems as brazen and audacious as the parrot that obviously does not mimic the sounds he hears and instead seems to create his own. Again squawking, "Go away! Go away!" at the bothersome piano playing of two girls, Chopin writes, "He was the only being present who possessed sufficient candor to admit that he was not listening to these gracious performances for the first time that summer." (23) Edna shows similar candor in her unwillingness to accept society’s burdening stereotypes. The seemingly intelligent bird "could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood..." (1) Though the parrot’s remarks appear to fall on deaf ears, Edna is one who can identify with his presumable wisdom, as her existence too is misjudged. Both Edna and the parrot are depicted as extraordinary and misunderstood in their surroundings, yet they are not free:as the parrot must exist in a cage, so Edna is caged by the restrictions society places upon her.
How to Cite this Page
"Free Awakening Essays: The Parrot." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... During the summer months, the Pontelliers, live on Grand Isle which is an island of the coast of New Orleans, and then during the winter months they move to the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the same routine every year and Edna wants change; later, she plans to travel abroad. Mr. Pontellier, Edna’s husband, works while Edna cares for the children and takes visits from the neighbors and friends. Mrs. Pontellier is also confined in her marriage where she is completely loyal to her husband and does everything a wife is expected to do for her husband, but knows deep down that there is more in life for her.... [tags: Marriage, Wife, The Awakening, Bird]
1710 words (4.9 pages)
- An Analysis of The Awakening The first thing I would like to do is go through and pick out the chapters I found to be significant in the novel. Chapter 1: *there is symbolism of a well trained “caged” bird, (like we read in the hypertext) which represents what wives were to be in Edna’s lifetime *well trained *speaks of pleasantries *begins with Summer a time of beauty, fullness and fruition *Grand Isle *vacation from New Orleans life (imprisonment) *ends at Summer after 1 yr *this vacation follows Edna back to New Orleans where she gradually begins to see how trapped she really is *it is after this vacation that Edna begins to “awake” Chapter 2: *Edna was from Kentucky and married... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
1181 words (3.4 pages)
- “I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself” (62). Edna tries explaining to Madame Ratignolle that this is something she is just beginning to understand from herself. She does not know why but she cannot bring herself to give up herself for her kids. The author Kate Chopin, who wrote the book The Awakening, explains through her novel societies’ demands and wishes for a woman, such as Edna, with a family. The book takes place in the late 19th century in New Orleans. In this time period however, Edna must become the obedient wife and stay home to take care of her kids and her husband.... [tags: The Awakening, Kate Chopin]
974 words (2.8 pages)
- Use of Aviary Symbolism in The Awakening Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening is full of symbolism. Symbols add meaning and depth to the text. Chopin underscores the expression "free as a bird" through the consistent use of aviary symbolism in The Awakening. Throughout the story she cleverly weaves images and descriptions of birds to express the psychological state of mind of her main character, Edna Pontellier. Perhaps the most obvious example of this symbolism is in the first spoken sentences of the novel, which, strangely enough, are not uttered by a human, but rather screeched by a parrot.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
815 words (2.3 pages)
- Critical Analysis of The Awakening The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, is the story of a woman who is seeking freedom. Edna Pontellier feels confined in her role as mother and wife and finds freedom in her romantic interest, Robert Lebrun. Although she views Robert as her liberator, he is the ultimate cause of her demise. Edna sees Robert as an image of freedom, which brings her to rebel against her role in society. This pursuit of freedom, however, causes her death. Chopin uses many images to clarify the relationship between Robert and Edna and to show that Robert is the cause of both her freedom and her destruction.... [tags: Kate Chopin The Awakening Essays]
983 words (2.8 pages)
- Finding Freedom in The Awakening In her novel, The Awakening, Kate Chopin shows Edna Pontellier¹s confrontations with society, her imprisonment in marriage and Edna¹s exploration of her own sexuality. Chopin also portrays Edna as a rebel, who after her experiences at Grand Isle wants to live a full and a free life and not to follow the rules of society. Edna¹s life ends in her suicide, but her death does not come as a surprise. Chopin foreshadows Edna¹s death by the use of nature and Edna¹s connection to it; also by the use of symbols, especially the symbolic meaning of a bird; and by the use of many different characters in the novel, such as Robert Lebrun, Mademoiselle Reisz and Madame R... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
759 words (2.2 pages)
- The Awakening as a Tragic Bildingsroman I have always considered this a tragic bildingsroman A professor suggested that this was a love story. If it is its love of self or finding it. It is no more of a love story than Call of the Wild. I guess because it has a woman and love it constitutes a love story. I agree that Reiz symbolized romantic art and ideals and Mme. Ratignolle. However Edna was less romantic because her confinement was real. Betty Freudian has this same sort of problem in the Feminist Mystique.... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
699 words (2 pages)
- The Awakening as an Example of Romantic, Realistic, and Local Color Writing A fair woman slowly, but surely, makes her way into the water. It is obvious that she is slightly afraid, but not to the point where she is willing to stop progressing into the gradually deepening water. She believes that after she lets the water grab her life, everything will be fine. Sounds appealing? I did not think so. However, Edna Pontellier thinks that this is the best option for her. Drowning seems to be the only way out. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, describes Edna Pontellier's battle against society, and how she decides to handle this battle. This novel was considered an immoral piece of liter... [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
814 words (2.3 pages)
- Throughout The Awakening, Kate Chopin conveys her ideas by using carefully crafted symbols that reflect her characters' thoughts and futures. One of the most important of these symbols, the bird, appears constantly, interwoven in the story to provide an insight to the condition of Edna's and her struggle. At each of the three stages of her struggle, birds foreshadow her actions and emphasize the actions' importance while the birds' physical state provides an accurate measure of that of Edna's.... [tags: essays research papers]
859 words (2.5 pages)
- Books, unlike movies, have been around since the beginning of time. For the most part, they are more meaningful than the movies that are made from these books. This is due to the fact that an author is able to convey his/her message clearer and include things in the book that cannot be exhibited in a movie. For this reason, the reader of the book is much more effected than the viewer of the film. In the novella, The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, there is much more evidence of symbolism as well as deeper meaning than in the movie version of the book, Grand Isle.... [tags: essays research papers]
1088 words (3.1 pages)
"Go away! Go away! For heaven’s sake! That’s all right!" (1) As Edna drowns herself to escape from a suffocating society, the parrot’s words seem to be have been a foreshadowing of her fate. Indeed he seems to be encouraging her to "go away" and leave a prison he knows all too well. ‘That’s all right!" he cries, reassuring Edna and justifying her exit. We perceive that, if he were able to, he might heed his own advice and fly from his cage as well.