Questions about the book called " The Awakening" 1.identify the novel's point of view and discuss the effect of any significant shifts in narrative voice. In other words, when does the protagonists point of view change within the novel and why is it important ? 2. Explore the significance of the setting of the text. How does the setting impact the overall themes and character development of the narrative? 3.identify one major theme that you discover and support that theme with evidence from text. 4. Select four quotations from the text that illustrate each of the following: mood, tone, symbolism, and figurative languague. What is their significance to the meaning of the work as a whole.

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The Awakening is told from a third-person omniscient point of view. It is tempting to say that it is limited omniscient because the narrator spends so much time detailing Edna's thoughts and feelings, but the narrator does offer the thoughts and feelings of other characters at times.

The settings,...

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The Awakening is told from a third-person omniscient point of view. It is tempting to say that it is limited omniscient because the narrator spends so much time detailing Edna's thoughts and feelings, but the narrator does offer the thoughts and feelings of other characters at times.

The settings, New Orleans and Grand Isle, are of import, in part, because Edna is an outsider here. She is not used to the Creole way of life, which is something made painfully transparent to her when a salacious novel makes its way through Grand Isle society. The Creole men and women read it openly while Edna feels she must hide it when it is her turn. Edna's outsider status gives her even more to contemplate. It further distances her outward life, and the way in which she must conform in order to retain social acceptance, from her inner life, the way in which she would like to behave and the choices she would prefer to make: the two are often at odds. The individual is almost always at odds with society (in novels at least), and Edna is no exception.

One major theme of this text is that the price of freedom from social rules is alienation. We see this in the end, especially, when Robert refuses to stay with Edna in any relationship other than a marriage. She simply wants them to be together as lovers, not with her as his wife/possession, and he cannot stomach living so outside of the norm. Should Edna, a married woman, simply remain married to Leonce and yet sleep with Robert openly, the social repercussions would be catastrophic: Edna and Robert would be utterly shunned. Consider, as well, Madamoiselle Reisz: she lives outside the rules—she never married, she has devoted her life to her music—and she is only really invited to be the entertainment at parties, never as a simple guest. Her alienation is likely the result of her failure to behave, in more ways than one, in a manner that is considered to be socially appropriate.

In Chapter IX, the narrator writes of Edna, "But the very passions themselves were aroused within her soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves daily beat upon her splendid body." This is a good example of mood and tone. In terms of mood, the words are exciting but dangerous at the same time: "aroused" and "passions" vs. "lashing" and "beat." We sense that there is danger to be found in this awakening of passions. Further, this language is somewhat sympathetic toward Edna: an indication of tone. She seems like an unwitting victim to her passions, something she cannot control. In Chapter X, the waves "coiled back [into the water] like slow, white serpents." This is a simile, an example of figurative language, that compares the waves to snakes: a comparison that might conjure up images of the devil in the garden of Eden, a symbol of temptation, just as the sea tempts Edna. Birds, especially caged birds are often used symbolically for Edna in the text as well; so that would be a great place to start to look for symbolism quotations—see in the final scene: "A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling, disabled down, down to the water." Quotations like these help us to come to themes regarding the oppression to be found in strictly regimented gender roles, or, specifically, when women are oppressed.

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