The Importance Of Allusion In Kate Chopin's The Awakening

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Authors throughout history have utilized our senses to connect the reader to the characters in the novel in a symbiotic relationship. Without our connection and relatability, the impact of the struggles a character faces would not be the same on the reader. This is held true for Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. Chopin employs auditory allusions to foreshadow the fate of the protagonist Edna Pontellier. These small breadcrumbs of allusions placed throughout the novel lead us down the path of discovery and heighten the experience for the reader. From Zampa to Tristan and Isolde, Chopin deliberately chose operas and songs that deeper the importance of The Awakening. The deeper you dive into the details of this novel, the more the reader understand …show more content…
The opening of the novel begins with “A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over: “Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That’s all right!” (Chopin pg.1) The reader’s senses are heightened through the aural imagery from the parrot. All readers can have a sense of relatability through hearing from this passage. This passage also is very significant for foreshadowing the rest of the novel. The symbolism of the bird being cage represents Edna and her being caged in society. The bird translated is exclaiming “Get out! Get out! Damnation!” This sentiment holds true when Edna awakens from her boring life and gets out from the past she leaves behind. Damnation is a biblical allusion to “condemnation to eternal punishment in hell” (Dictionary). This foreshadows that Edna will be condemned to hell. The Christian religion and during the Victorian era believes that if a person commits suicide that they will go to hell instead of heaven. Thus the opening line foreshadows the eventual suicide of …show more content…
She heard the barking of an old dog that was chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air.” (Chopin pg. 121) In her final moments of her life, the important sense for her is hearing. As she slips away she hears her surroundings as well as her family. This quote is also portrayed symbolism in the last moments of Edna’s life that were expressed throughout the novel. The symbolism of being caged and becoming free. This symbol is expressed in this quote by the dog barking, chained up. Similarly to the bird being caged during the opening statement, the final quote ends with an animal symbolizing the chaining of society. Peace finally overcomes Edna as she dies in the water with the imagery of “musky odor of pinks filled the air.” The true freedom has come to Edna as she is released from her chains of her womanly duties, which has been foreshadowed throughout the novel. Her suicide in the water is foreshadowed earlier in the novel by her admiration for 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 a maze of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” (Chopin, pg. 14) Her “soul” is finally set free to wander

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