Awakening Essay Symbolism Assignment Introduction

Three of the most prominent symbols used are birds, houses, and the ocean and each means something different in the context of the story.

Birds represent freedom and the ability to fly but are also symbols for something that is strong yet delicate.

For this essay, think hard about Victorian expectations for women and examine how women are expected to fit into it and what happens if they do not.

A good structure for this essay would be to spend one paragraph on individual characters and look at how they defy, adhere to, or reject their society and what consequences result.

Men too have a number of expectations and it is important to look at Leonce and other men in the novel and how they either uphold or rebel against the status quo in terms of gendered expectations.

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In this paradigm Edna is caught between her desires for independence and freedom and the constraining notions of Victorian society.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3 : The Awakening as a Feminist Novella Upon its initial serial publication, this novella caused quite a stir because it presented a female protagonist who was so blatantly refusing the society she lived in and furthermore, because she was so sexually aware.This combination in Edna’s character made her a literary icon for feminist ideals.Because of the way Edna chooses individuality over conformity, sexuality over repression, and art over entertaining she is acting as a feminist—even at a time when this was not a common concept.For this essay choose three of four aspects to her character or events in the story (such as her getting her own place or taking a lover for instance) and examine them closely to look for ways in which Edna promotes feminist ideals Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Context of the Victorian Era In the Victorian society in which this novel takes place, there are many strict behavioral and other conventions that must be adhered to, particularly for women.All of the important quotes listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text they are referring to.The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in a maze of inward contemplation" (14).(Edna thinking of Kentucky) “of a meadow that seemed as big as the ocean to the very little girl walking through the grass, which was higher than her wait.Like the birds, the women’s movements are limited (by society), and they are unable to communicate with the world around them.The novel’s “winged” women may only use their wings to protect and shield, never to fly.Houses are where one resides and thus are reflections on the soul of the inhabitant.The fact that Edna has multiple homes is important because they reflect her changing state of mind.

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