Consider reading through Chapter 6 in The Awakening for a discussion of the sea. In this chapter, the narrative line of the story is broken by a figurative discussion of the sea. In the previous chapter, the characters discuss going to the beach, and now in Chapter 6, the narrator describes the lure of the sea. From this point on, the sea will be used figuratively to suggest an element of freedom that Edna wants but does not feel that she actually has in her life. The sea is seductive, and it draws Edna to seeking the freedom that she wants. The sea as a motif will reoccur throughout the novel, and finally at the end, it is the sea into which Edna slips to gain the metaphorical freedom that she realizes she cannot have in the reality of her life.