The Awakening: A Story of The Sea

When I think of "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin, two paintings immediately come to mind. In kind and through their juxtaposition, I hope to explore the timeless nature of the

3 years ago

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When I think of "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin, two paintings immediately come to mind. In kind and through their juxtaposition, I hope to explore the timeless nature of the ocean, and its continual impact on literature throughout history. For the uninitiated, "The Awakening" is a short novella set in New Orleans and on the Louisiana Gulf coast at the end of the 19th century. The story centers in on Edna Pontellier, a young, beautiful creole woman, and the events of a summer vacation amidst Louisianan high society. The story is revolutionary two-fold: first as a landmark achievement of American feminism, and secondly as a radical precursor to modernist literature. However, this re-telling aims not to concern itself with the social implications or the consequences of Chopin's universal appeal and widespread acceptance into the mainstream literary canon. Instead, I aim to put forth a multi-media expression of the beautiful dreamscapes expressed within the novella and highlight the power of nature, chiefly the ocean, in commanding human emotion. Through visual exploration, the cognition of language, and carefully curated quotes, I hope to evoke feelings of nostalgia, longing, and fondness for simpler times and coastal airs in a mood board of 19th century class and sophistication. Enjoy. "Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That's all right!"

  1. La Terrace de Sainte Adresse by Claude Monet

[Editor's Note: What more than lounging by the edge of the vast Atlantic? To feel the cool summer breeze ruffle the delicate, budding flowers. To speak of places undiscovered and gossip of the latest town scandal. The coast invites it all; it heals it beyond belief, and calms the soul to a drifting bliss.]

And then, the unspeakable purity - and freshness of the air! There was just enough heat to enhance the value of the breeze, and just enough wind to keep the whole sea in motion, to make the waves come bounding to the shore, foaming and sparkling, as if wild with glee.  ~Anne Bronte

2. Bones by Ben Howard

[Editor's Note: It's about trying to maintain the muse in the purest form. The worst thing you can do is try to rationalize your inspirations. Give heed to them. It's important to be able to take yourself out of your own life and see the picture you have drawn––never stop to see the bigger ocean]

"The Awakening" is a story of loss, of finding yourself, and ultimately, of uncomparable tragedy. We find within not a shred of pride, or happiness, or closure, but of gentle solace and tinged heartbreak. Learn from Edna with caution, for living outside the box is often dangerous. Free her and all those inspired by her from cages in their minds, and cut the chains that bind them still, to society's wrongs in kind.

What comes from the sea must always return.

!                !                !             !                !                !           !                !                            

#  ––The Monk by the Sea – Caspar David Friedrich (as seen above)

“She turned her face seaward to gather in an impression of space and solitude, which the vast expanse of water, meeting and melting with the moonlit sky, conveyed to her excited fancy. As she swam she seemed to be reaching out for the unlimited in which to lose herself.” - Kate Chopin


aka 19th Century View of a New Orleans Courtyard by Marshall D Smith

To be continued.

“Goodbye -- Because I love you.”
Lucas Bernicker

Published 3 years ago