Preview
Preview

Essay on The Influence of the Sea in The Awakening

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 2157 words (6.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Influence of the Sea in The Awakening

 
      In Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, the female protagonist, Edna Pontellier, learns about the world. Unfortunately for Edna, the world is defined in terms of love and marriage. This female awakening is really  "an awakening to limitations" (Bloom 43). If read as a suicide, then Edna’s last swim is a consequence of her awakening to the limitations of her femaleness in a male-dominant society. But on a metaphysical level, The Awakening's final scene can be seen as Edna's ultimate gesture in trying to grasp the essence of her being.  This essay will show that Edna's spiritual journey both begins and ends in the sea..

     In the early chapters, Edna is referred to only as Mrs. Pontellier, as a subset of Mr. Pontellier. At this point, Edna's sense of self is still defined in terms of her connection with her husband, Léonce. At the same time, but on another level, Edna as a fictional character has not yet materialized from the text. For Mrs. Pontellier, suffering manifests itself early and is the easiest of the three marks of existence to identify. A few pages after making her entrance, Mrs. Pontellier fights with Mr. Pontellier and finds what Chopin describes as "an indescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her consciousness, [and] filled her whole being with a vague anguish" (49). On account of her still undelineated character and primordial sense of self, Mrs. Pontellier's suffering is appropriately "indescribable," "unfamiliar," and "vague." But in this unformed self, Edna is beginning to "realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her" (Chopin 5...


... middle of paper ...


...achments on the shore like she did at her first swim at which her sensual self was aroused into action. Edna swims out toward nirvana.  And thus we come to the end of Edna's spiritual journey.

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Bercholz, Samuel, and Shearb Chödzin Kohn, eds. Entering the Stream: An Introduction to the Buddha and His Teachings. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1993.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Kate Chopin. Modern Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening and Selected Stories. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.
"Nature." The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 1993 ed.
Saddhatissa, Hammalawa. Buddhist Ethics: The Path to Nirvana. London: Wisdom Publications, 1987.
Schuhmacher, Stephan, et al., eds. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1989.

 

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Importance of the Sea in The Awakening Essay - The Importance of the Sea in The Awakening      Throughout her novel, The Awakening, Kate Chopin uses symbolism and imagery to portray the main character's emergence into a state of spiritual awareness. The image that appears the most throughout the novel is that of the sea. “Chopin uses the sea to symbolize freedom, freedom from others and freedom to be one's self” (Martin 58). The protagonist, Edna Pontellier, wants that freedom, and with images of the sea, Chopin shows Edna's awakening desire to be free and her ultimate achievement of that freedom....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
836 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Nature of Solitude in Chopin's Novel, The Awakening Essay - The Nature of Solitude in Chopin's Novel, The Awakening "The name of the piece was something else, but she called it ‘Solitude.' When she heard it there came before her imagination the figure of a man standing beside a desolate rock on the seashore. He was naked. His attitude was one of hopeless resignation as he looked toward a distant bird winging its flight away from him."(47) "All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in sight. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water...when she was there beside the sea, absolutely alone, she cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the...   [tags: Chopin Awakening] 828 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Fatherly Influence in The Awakening Essay - "A Lethal Fatherly Influence": The femme response to a Patriarchal Society and the Inevitable Solution in Chopin’s The Awakening "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin recounts the struggle of an end of the century New Orleans housewife to conform to a paternal society and the epiphany which ultimately leads to her grave. Born in Kentucky, Edna Pontellier has unconsciously defied the patriarchal society in which she was raised by avoiding her Presbyterian religion. Once grown, she marries Leonce Pontellier, a wealthy man from New Orleans....   [tags: Kate Chopin] 1604 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Importance of the Ocean in Chopin's Awakening - Importance of the Ocean in Chopin's Awakening        In Kate Chopin's novel, The Awakening, Chopin uses the motif of the ocean to signify the awakening of Edna Pontellier. Chopin compares the life of Edna to the dangers and beauty of a seductive ocean. Edna's fascinations with the unknown wonders of the sea help influence the reader to understand the similarities between Edna's life and her relationship with the ocean. Starting with fear and danger of the water then moving to a huge symbolic victory over it, Chopin uses the ocean as a powerful force in Edna's awakening to the agony and complexity of her life....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
871 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Death By Sea: The Ultimate Liberation Essay - The end to existence, more commonly known as death, is a unique and moving form of liberation. Death has the power to grant freedom from illness, safety from a life of danger, and in the case of Edna Pontellier, refuge from a life of entrapment. In the novel, The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, the literary work’s main character Edna Pontellier struggles to find her own identity and sense of selfhood. Edna fights to find her place amongst the expectations and traditions of society while herself longing for a life of independence and personal will....   [tags: The Awakening, Kate Chopin, Analysis]
:: 5 Works Cited
1386 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
feminaw Seeking a New Identity for Women in The Awakening Essay - Seeking a New Identity for Women in The Awakening        In The Awakening, Chopin questions gender roles. Chopin seeks an identity for women that is neither wife nor mother. To achieve this end, she incorporates progressive feminist ideas into her writing. Yet, in the end, Chopin also shows that, because of years of conditioning, many women are unable to escape society’s stereotypical roles by any satisfactory means. The protagonist of the novel, Edna Pontellier, does not possess the skills needed to become independent and, despite attempts to escape, succumbs finally to the doomed dream of romantic love....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1457 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Awakening Essay - The Awakening “Edna began to feel like one who awakens gradually out of a dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the realities oppressing into her soul.” (Pg. 42) In Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening the constant boundaries and restrictions placed on Edna Pontellier by society will lead to her struggle for freedom and her ultimate suicide. Her husband Leonce Pontellier, the current women of society, and the Grand Isle make it evident that Edna is trapped in a patriarchal society....   [tags: essays research papers] 960 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay - The Awakening by Kate Chopin Edna Pontellier is considered a dangerous rebel. Her scandalous behavior has been deemed immoral and unfit by New Orleans society. It is feared that her negative influence will be the downfall of women everywhere unless she is stopped. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening is a terrific read and I am hardly able to put it down!  I am up to chapter XV and many of the characters are developing in very interesting ways.  Edna is unfulfilled as a wife and mother even  though she and her husband are financially well off.  Her husband, Leonce Pontellier, is a good husband and father but he has only been paying attention to his own interests.  At this point he is unaware of th...   [tags: Papers] 3965 words
(11.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Voice of the Sea in The Awakening Essay - The Voice of the Sea in The Awakening           Many different symbols were utilized in Kate Chopin's The Awakening to illustrate the underlying themes and internal conflict of the characters.  One constant and re-emerging symbol is the sea.  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 mazes of inward contemplation.  The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.  The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace (Chopin 25).    In the novel, “the ocean symbolizes Edna's "awakening" to a life filled with freedom and independence” (Nicke...   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
886 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Symbolism of the Sea in Chopin’s The Awakening Essay - Symbolism of the Sea in Chopin’s The Awakening “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 mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.” This short quotation from the end of chapter 6 of Kate Chopin’s the Awakening is crucial to understanding the text as a whole and is also a vital example of foreshadowing....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays] 448 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]