Honors English 10
11th March 2014
I’m Wide Awake
Some people around the world are pressured into things that they do not want to do or they are expected to become something they aren’t. The act of being the “perfect” person puts pressure on people even when they don’t want to change. Sometimes going through a certain situation can show who a person really is. In the novel The Awakening written by Kate Chopin she portrays Edna as someone who is trying to break free of the title “the perfect mother-woman”. Kate Chopin uses several literary devices such as, symbolism, her characters and use of language to show how hard it is for women to live in society and the pressure with the expectations to be the perfect mother-woman.
By symbolizing Edna as different types of birds, Chopin shows how much Edna changes throughout the novel with a certain type of bird. In the beginning of the novel she is described as a "green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside." showing that she has no freedom to do what she wants because of her husband (5). She is trying to get away from society and their views on how to be the perfect mother-woman. The perfect mother-woman is not only someone who cares for her husband it is someone who will take care of the kids, keep up around the house, and focus on no other man but her husband. Not only is Edna symbolized by a bird but as well as Mademoiselle Reisz. Mademoiselle Reisz is portrayed as a mocking bird and she is the only person who could completely understands Edna. Chopin uses foreshadowing by saying, “…unless it was the mocking bird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty note out upon the breeze with maddening persistence.” showing the mocking bird is Mademoiselle McLean 2
Reisz watching over Edna, knowing what she is going through (5). The mockingbird, in addition, adds the tone for Mademoiselle Reisz's self-reliant attitude in which the upper class...
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