Chopin used the image of the sea and the ocean to represent change. Initially in Chapter Six, the sea represents her sexual awakening and the beginning of Edna’s self discovery. She falls in love with Robert Lebrun however, he is too afraid to step outside of society's conventions. At the end of the novel, the sea represents a change but this time death.
The author repeats in two instances a personification of the sea’s voice. In chapter Six the sea's voice is, "... is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude" Here the sea is representing a beginning, which is Edna's awakening and step towards identity.
At the end of the novel, the same words are used to personify the sea. The sentence is repeated, "The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude." But this time the meaning is not one of welcome and does not represent a beginning but an end. Additionally the sea is described in contradictory terms. The foam of the sea is, "coiled like a serpent" and at the same time, "the touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace." She walks into the sea leaving behind her old life and embarking on something else.
I think Chopin used the idea of the sea to represent not only change but the boundary between society and individual. However, in Chapter Six and at the end of the