The Awakening

Painting and Growth in The Awakening 10th Grade

In Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening Edna uses painting to mature and awaken. She has always loved painting, however, she has always been unconfident about her skill in painting. As time went on she became more confident with her skills which that helped Edna grow confidence in herself and also her sexuality as a woman. She starts to ignore her duties as a mother because she feels that it is pointless and starts pursuing in what she loves, painting. The transformation of Edna’s artwork, as her talent and passion grow, represents the transformation of Edna herself from the ordinary housewife to a passionate individual.


Edna uses painting as a form of self-expression. Before she is always very upset because she has not found something that could make her happy and she could not express herself freely. Also expressing how they truly feel is frowned upon in their society, making it difficult for Edna to truly express herself. She felt restrained, however, when she started painting: “She handled her brushes with a certain ease and freedom which came” (11). She is able to be free from the restraints of society, and that freedom comes with painting. She also first awakened when she picked up a brush because she “felt in it...

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