- All Free Papers and Essays for All Students

Birds Case

Autor:   •  December 13, 2012  •  Essay  •  867 Words (4 Pages)  •  813 Views

Page 1 of 4

Birds are quite often considered pets. They are caged and put on display for people to look at. They have no real chance of flying free again. Many authors, including Kate Chopin, use birds as symbols within their literary pieces. Why do they have a greater meaning within the story?

In the beginning scene at Madame Lebrun's house on Grand Isle, the readers are introduced to the caged birds. The mockingbird represents Adele Ratignolle; Adele is described as the perfect woman within society. She is constantly tending to the needs of her children and husband. Adele actually represents the women in society. The parrot symbolizes Edna and how she sticks out of society. A mockingbird is grey and shows no color on their feathers, whereas a parrot is extremely vibrant with bold colors. The mockingbird displays what society's expectation is for women and how distant Edna is from meeting that standard. Nevertheless the two birds are still locked within the same cage; no matter how different their "feathers" may be.

The symbol of the caged birds best describes Edna and women in society at this time because they symbolize the lack of freedom and also their passive nature. Women were often cast in the shadows of men, only to speak when spoken to. This is why the bird symbol really hits Edna like a bull's eye; she refuses to be held down by Leonce's image and she does whatever she pleases. It is indistinct for women in this time to disobey their husbands and neglect their children, even divorce was considered a disgraced upon the family. They were restrained by the power that men possessed in society. As seen on page 1, "...and also a language which nobody understood...with maddening persistence." The reader immediately sees the impatience for which Mr. Pontellier has with the birds and how he wishes to be absent from their presence. But like a bird, Edna flew away from all known precedents. Edna's character is frequently described as free and careless about responsibilities, much like that of a bird. Thus proves the point that the symbol of a caged bird serves as a great analogy to her character. Mademoiselle Reisz said to Edna, "The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings." The readers see that she wishes to escape, to be free from the cage she is held in. But due to the views in society and the obscene gesture of divorce, she has no choice but to remain within the cage.

When Edna decides


Download as:   txt (4.8 Kb)   pdf (76.3 Kb)   docx (11.6 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »