Analysis Essay on The Awakening
In the novel The Awakening, Chopin uses personification, sensory imagery, and irony in order to reveal that the Pontellier’s marriage is emotionally unstable, unhealthy, and unhappy.
A way in which Chopin is able to reveal the relationship of Mr. and Mrs. Pontellier’s is through personification. “It broke like a mournful lullaby upon the night” (43-44). Chopin gives the night human like characteristics when stating there was a mournful lullaby. This line reflected Mrs. Pontellier’s mood at the time. She is upset because her husband insinuates that she is bad or unfit mother. “He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children” (26-27). Him saying that really upset her and leads us into the next literary device that shows just how unhealthy the relationship is.
Another literary device that Chopin uses in order to reveal Mr. and Mrs. Pontellier’s relationship is imagery. “The tears came so fast to Mrs. Pontellier’s’ eyes that the damp sleeve of her peignoir no longer served to dry them. She was holding the back of her chair with one hand; her loose sleeve had slipped almost to the shoulder of her uplifted arm. Turning, she thrust her face, steaming and wet, into the bend of her arm, and she went on crying there, not caring any longer to dry her face, her eyes, her arms. She could not have been told why she was crying. Such experiences as the foregoing were not uncommon in her married life” (45-51) In a nutshell this quote describes Mrs. Pontellier’s reaction to her husband’s attitude and words. But at the end the fact that it says “Such experiences as the foregoing were not uncommon in her married life,” (50-51) just proves how unhealthy the relationship really is. For a husband to behave in such a manner on a regular occasion, and for a wife to see it as “normal” is completely delusional and dysfunctional. The imagery in the quote helps to make the unhealthy...
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