Bird Imagery in *The Awakening*

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Matthew W


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July 26, 2017








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4 / 864


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Edna Pontellier, – as well as Victorian women’s predicament - in many respects. Not only is it caged, but it also lacks the possibility to think on its own what it is saying (as it was thought and expected of Victorian women) and instead repeats just what others say. Like Edna, it is valued by society superficially for its physical appearance, making it seem – and being treated like – an object; and though it has the potential to fly, as it has wings, it is limited and cannot use them in this case for escaping, since it is trapped...
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Additionally, it voices what Edna herself feels later: the need to be left alone and be independent. Most importantly, this confined parrot is said to speak “English, French and a little Spanish”, as well as a “language which nobody understood, unless it was the mocking-bird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty notes…” Indeed, throughout the novel Edna learns to speak different languages and express herself in ways that end up isolating her for they are incomprehensible to her society...
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