How Does Kate Chopin Symbolise the Use of Clothing and Garments to Portray Edna’s Rebellion Against the Victorian Norms

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The awakening was first published 1899, near the beginning of a new century. This novel was published during the Victorian Era where the expectations of women were significant to society if a woman did not live up to societies expectation they were seen as a villain and unmarriageable. The ideal Victorian lady was to be home-centred, family orientated women. They had ensured the house was well groomed; all meals were made on time, sewed and knitting all the children’s clothing, care for the ill individuals in the family that the home and family are free of disease and any problems that occur outside of their home aren’t brought into the home. Women did not have the rights like the men did, they had little choice on who they married, restrictions of what they were allowed to do but also their education was restricted they were taught things like; drawing, painting, cooking, sewing, knitting, poetry and certain languages. By looking at this and recognising the ideal woman I can already see how Edna rebels against Victorian norms. Chopin use of symbolism is exquisite in this novel, in way it presents Edna’s character through the; sea, birds, clothing, as you can see it is a lot of nature and this presents freedom and this is what Edna lacks of and is fighting to gain such thing and discovered the society she lives in will try and prevent her from becoming free. The very first sentence of the novel is ‘A green and yellow parrot, which hung in cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over; Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi!’ which is go away repeated in French. The fact the bird is caged and cannot fly; it is closely linked to the entrapment of not only Edna, but all the other women too in that era and that they can ‘fly’ away to be free from their supposedly ‘perfect’ lives. Edna is trapped in a marriage she did not want to be in, she has seen that as the end of normality for herself as she had to become a responsible young lady, her priorities had to...
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