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What is the symbolic meaning of the two lovers and lady in black? Why do they mostly appear nearly at the same time?
Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening is an prodigious read which was a pleasure to read. All the characters are developing in a various ways that makes this book way more exciting. Each of them represent specific sense and mirror certain symbolism. Lady in black and the two lovers are brilliant examples of symbolism in the whole novel. I am glad to share my observations about this.
To begin with, it is worth noticing who is actually the Lady in black? She is not a real person, she is a representative of Edna’s new world. At that time, there were no equal rights and freedom of women in Kate’s Chopin novella. Therefore, she had created the lady in black to show woman’s behavior against strict societal doctrine, to show what the woman be like if there were no restrictions.
The lady in black, on the one hand, symbolizes Adele. All the time, she is described behind the two lovers trying to prevent something from happening. “The Lady in Black with her Sunday prayer book…and her Sunday silver beads, was following them at no greater distance” (The Awakening, Ch. XII, p.32). On the other hand, the lady in black symbolize a widowed woman having a meaningless life after her husband passed away. She never speaks, she patiently stays behind.
Speaking about two lovers, everything is clear. They are used to contrast the relations between Edna and Robert, as a symbol of their might-have-been happy life. “The lovers were just entering the grounds of the pension. They were leaning towards each other as the water-oaks bent from the sea. There was not a particle of earth beneath their feet. Their heads might have been turned upside down, so absolutely did tread upon blue ether” (The Awakening , Ch. VIII, p.21).
Symbolic meaning of the characters in “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin is an essencial part of this novel. Not only characters are served as a symbols but also colors, figures, objects. These all represent the main ideas and concepts which the author wants to reproduce us. The two lovers, the lady in black and even sea image are shown in order to show the deep meaning of the plot. By reading it, the reader realizes the importance of novel, its morality and motifs.
SparkNotes: The Awakening: Themes, Motifs & Symbols. (2016). Sparknotes.com. Retrieved 7 October 2016, from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/awakening/themes.html
Turner, K. (2016). The Lovers and Lady in Black: Symbolism. prezi.com. Retrieved 7 October 2016, from https://prezi.com/0gnijxkyqg4v/the-lovers-and-lady-in-black-symbolism/
The Lady in Black in The Awakening: Quotes, Analysis & Significance | Study.com. (2016).Study.com. Retrieved 7 October 2016, from http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-lady-in-black-in-the-awakening-quotes-analysis-significance.html