Pike and Acosta (2011) define literary symbolism as â??one type of literary device: an image whose meaning has become fixed by convention, such as the flagâ?¦bald eagle, or a roseâ? (p. 138). The sea is symbolic in The Awakening, and represents various underlying meanings. For example, Edna refers to the sea as an entity that encompasses, seduces and envelops her body. For Edna, the sea is an escape from the external conflicts she faces (society, marriage, and motherhood). Think of other ways the sea is symbolic in The Awakening. Using one of the critical theories (feminist, psychological or historical), interpret the significance of the sea using at least three examples from the novel.
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As you apply some feminist theory, you might examine how Chopin uses the water and learning to swim with learning self identity and self empowerment. Since swimming deals with survival, Edna is finally able to "float" without male assistance: she is able to complete a task ...
The Awakening by Chopin is briefly explored using textual evidence to show and discuss symbols.