Write a close analysis on page 30 of chapter 10 in The Awakening. Comment on the narration, structure, repetitions, patterns, oppositions, language, and style of the passage. Note the language (including of course the figurative language) and specific wording of the passage. Briefly situate the passage in the context of the rest of the novel.

When writing a close analysis of chapter 10 of Kate Chopin's The Awakening, first read the text attentively and carefully. Think about how the scene advances the plot and characterization of the novel as Edna discovers her independence and her budding desire for Robert. Also examine the language of the chapter, including the dialogue and figurative language.

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The first step in writing a close analysis of any text is to carefully and attentively read the text. This may seem obvious, but students sometimes skim over a text too quickly and then have no idea what to write about. Therefore, read the text thoroughly.

Let's brainstorm some things you might discuss in a close analysis of chapter 10 of Kate Chopin's The Awakening. We'll begin by thinking about how the chapter advances the story's plot and characterization. Edna has just felt her passions awaken when she hears Mademoiselle Reisz's piano performance. Now Robert suggests a moonlight bathing excursion for the whole company. Edna has been unsuccessful in learning to swim up to this point, but something about the music and the darkness gives her courage and perhaps a bit of recklessness, and she swims out into the ocean much farther than she normally would dare to go.

At first she feels exhilarated and confident; then she becomes frightened when she notices how far from shore she is. She catches a glimpse of death but manages to swim in. This experience changes Edna deep down. She has discovered her own independence and strength. She does not need to rely on anyone to save her; she takes care of herself. Her character is developing rapidly, as is her self-confidence. Without this incident, so small yet so significant, Edna may never have carried out her actions later in the novel. This scene is a turning point for her.

As Edna is walking back to her cottage, thinking she wants to be alone, Robert joins her. He has been watching her swim, yet he does not come for her when he sees her falter. He seems to understand that Edna needs to solve her own problem and grow in the process. Yet he walks with her now. Along the way, he tells a spooky little story about the twenty-eighth of August and a spirit that haunts the shore to find one worthy of his company. That spirit, Robert concludes, has found Edna, and perhaps she will always remain under his spell. Robert has recognized the change in Edna and identifies it somewhat facetiously through a story, yet he seems to understand that whatever has happened is serious.

Notice that Edna takes Robert's arm but does not lean upon him. This is another sign of her newly discovered independence. She is learning to walk by herself, both literally and figuratively. Yet Edna allows Robert to stay even after she settles into the hammock. Their relationship is changing. We read that, even the silence, there is a new-found desire in Edna, a desire for Robert.

As you write your close analysis, you should also comment on the language of this chapter. You might, for instance, compare and contrast the various parts of the conversation between Robert and Edna. Some of it approaches the sublime as when Edna speaks of how the people around her as “like some uncanny, half-human beings.” She has found herself—or is at least beginning to—and no one else seems quite real. Yet other parts of the conversation are mundane, as when Robert asks Edna if he can get her a pillow and she asks him to bring her shawl. This blend is realistic yet also shows that Edna has not completely changed within herself. She must learn how to live with the new parts of her in the real world.

Your close analysis might also discuss the figurative language in the chapter, like the analogy of Edna missing Robert like “one misses the sun on a cloudy day.” Think about what that implies about their relationship. Another example is Chopin's description of the night sitting “lightly upon the sea and the land.” This is personification, and it suggests a particular atmosphere at the beach.

The possibilities for close analysis are endless, but these ideas should get you started.

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