Using Chopin's "The Awakening" as an inspiration for poetry.

Authors Avatar by anishakaur52gmailcom (student)

The Awakening: commentary

From the Victorian era, Chopin startled critics with her tale of a woman’s abortive struggle towards independence in an oppressive society. By using women as her protagonists, Chopin highlights their sexist roles in literature; however she restricts their development through a controlled, authorial third person narrative. It thus seemed conducive to transform The Awakening into a series of English sonnets, revealing the undeveloped characterisation of Edna with Robert, through their separation. Therefore, the audience for my piece would be educated readers who enjoy reading poetry that has a challenging and unconventional form.  I shed new light on the short story by elucidating Edna’s role in society through highlighting the narrow and stereotypical way in which women are often portrayed in literature.

The short story distances the protagonist from her emotional development, because it is written in the third person narrative. Hence, the form does not offer the opportunity for character expansion in the same way the sonnets do. My transformation moves from a third person, omniscient narrator in the novel to dual first person narrative. For example, Edna openly declares her love for Robert, at the time of her death: “I’m the person who deserves your love.” The narrative voice appears more autonomous in the sonnet because the author’s evaluation of the moral choices that her characters make is lost. The sonnet form successfully enables Edna to reveal her true emotions to the reader, whilst shedding light on the character’s relationships in the short story.

Join now!

The form of English sonnets enabled me to phonetically create the sound of a heart beating through the strict meter of iambic pentameter. Therefore, when the two characters reveal their feelings to each other the meter is tight, mirroring the natural sound of a heart beating. For example, Robert declares: “The bonds we made grew deeper than the sea.” Robert uses a comparative analogy to describe his love for Edna, which suggests there is positive emotional relationship between the two characters. The extended metaphor of the sea has been used to satirize the literary archetype of Edna by communicating ...

This is a preview of the whole essay