The Awakening
Kate Chopin
Contributed by Loretta Ingwersen
Motifs
Motifs are devices or structures that are used by artists or authors to help in the development of a theme.
The Ocean/Sea

Edna and Robert kindle their romance by the ocean. Edna loves the water and learns how to swim, spending most of her free time inside the open arms of the sea. She eventually meets her end, while wandering deep into the ocean water.

Chopin Impromtu

Mademoiselle Reisz plays the Chopin Impromptu at Grande Isle, mesmerizing Edna. Robert writes to her, telling her to play the Chopin Impromptu for Edna whenever she asks.

Grande Isle

Grande Isle is the location of the summer home for the Pontellier’s and Ratignolle’s. They stay at the Lebrun cottages during these summer months. Edna and Robert meet and spend all their time together while on Grande Isle.

New Orleans

Edna and Leonce live in the city of New Orleans during the remainder of the year. Leonce leaves New Orleans during a large portion of the novel to work in New York.

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