Unformatted text preview: Chopin drew on a long history of bird imagery in women's writing to establish The Awakening 's opening image: the green-and-yellow parrot. Women writers since the 1700s had used caged birds as symbols to represent the limitations of their own domestic lives. Chopin's parrot, which symbolizes Edna, not only voices a desire for solitude (a condition necessary for creation of art and pursuit of self-knowledge) but at the same time represents the pressure exerted by both individuals and society in general for everyone to follow the same rules and display the same behavior. When her story begins, Edna obeys this implicit rule to go along with the crowd but later, as she begins to come into contact with her true self, she behaves as her moods and whims dictate rather than doing what everyone else does, such as when she abandons her reception day. Chopin herself detested what everyone else does, such as when she abandons her reception day....
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- Fall '08
- The Awakening, Edna, Mademoiselle Reisz, domestic lives. Chopin, reception day. Chopin, outspoken Mademoiselle Reisz, Mademoiselle Reisz wings