Kate Chopin uses a numerous amount of sybolism throughout The Awakening to support her main ideas of Enda's character and her role in society. Edna Pontellier is a young girl in her twenties married to a loyal business man but the absent father to her children. Due to the constant business-related trips her husband spends time on, Edna finds herself always depressed and dissatisfied in her marriage. Throughout the story, she undergoes "awakenings," including an affair, by trying to find herself and reveal her true identity. The important symbols that were used in this story were houses, birds, and the ocean. From my understanding, these items helped make connections from the world Edna is living in, inside of her head, and her eventual awakening.
In the story, Edna stays in four houses: Madame Antione's home, the cottages on Grand Isle, the house in New Orleans, and also her "pigeon house." The fact that Edna has multiple homes helps emphasize how her unstable mind is going through so many shifts. Each house serves as a milestone towards her "awakenings." At her house in New Orleans, she is expected to act as the "perfect hostess." While staying at the cottage on Grand Isle, Edna is relyed upon as the mother-woman. Yet when she and Robert get away to Madame Antione's home, she reveals the change she has undergone so far. Edna has incredibly altered into a much more independent woman and that house symbolises her new and rejuvinated world. In her "pigeon house," Edna becomes more comfortable and can be herself. She feels that she can act however she'd like without worrying about anybody's opinion. I am in complete favor with this symbolic element because I, myself, feel that at home you should feel comfortable without the need of impressing anyone. Home is "home, sweet, home"
Birds illustrate freedom and the ability to fly, but can also smybolize something strong yet delicate at the same time. At the beginning of the story, Edna was more of a caged bird. She felt trapped and like birds, she was limited to how far her wings could fly. Every attempt to leave her children, marriage, and home, she wound up locked in a cage again, which is better known as her "pigeon house." Eventually, she grew tired of feeling trapped and said,"The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings