The Awakening, Kate Chopin

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People like books that make it seem like the reader is watching a movie. In other words, good authors use vivid details in their stories to help the reader visualize what is happening. Using colorful imagery makes the reader stay interested in the book. One might not find any interest in reading, but finding a good book that can grab one's attention may spark the interest of that person. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin describes every scene in a way that can make the reader feel as if they are watching a movie. She uses the descriptions of backgrounds, moods and foreshadowing of the novel to explain the plot.

Kate Chopin describes the backgrounds of this story in a dramatic way. Every scene is depicted in vivid details. For example, she describes the place where the Pontelliers live by using details like “the house was painted a dazzling white (pg 99)” and depicts the yard as “was kept scrupulously neat (pg.99).” One can picture the clean cut grass with no leaves on the ground and the tree's shadow casting over the yard. The house is depicted as being white as snow She also describes the inside of the house saying “the softest carpets and rugs covered the floor; rich and tasteful draperies hung at doors and windows (pg.99).” Using details like this helps the reader actually picture the house and yard in their mind like a movie.

Some people may interpret mood as a character's feelings and or emotions. Kate Chopin uses the word mood to make people feel a certain way when they read a passage. The weather, location and time of day all come into play in explaining the “mood” of a story. For example, one quote that would describe the mood would be “There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why,-when it did not worth while to be glad or sorry, alive or dead. (pg.109).” This gives the reader a dark, yet dramatic feeling. By saying this, we know that Edna has different moods every day. Another quote that gives mood would be “There was something in her attitude, in her whole appearance when she leaned her head against the high-backed chair and spread her arms, which suggested a regal women, the one who rules, looks on and stands alone (pg.145).” This quote gives the reader a strong feeling of who Edna really is. It tells us that she is always alone and no one is there to help her in her time of need. It also gives us an upbeat feeling, in which Edna is independent and does not need anybody to tell her what to do. The quote “The moments glided on, while a feeling of good fellowship passed around the circle like a mystic cord, holding and binding these people together with jest and laughter (pg.145)” gives us a sense of positive light because she uses a simile to describe this good feeling in the air. The word laughter sticks out when reading a passage. That specific word lightens up the mood and a good feeling sinks in.

A good author can foreshadow the ending by putting clues into the novel that hint what is going to happen in the end. Kate Chopin gives us many clues, obvious and abstract, to have the reader guessing how the novel is going to end. The quote used in the third paragraph “...the one who rules, looks on and stands alone (pg.145)”, foreshadows the ending by making Edna have the same feeling as if she was standing and looking at the ocean as she is moments away from swimming out and drowning. It also foreshadows that no one will be there when she does it and she won't have any regrets on doing it. Another example would be another from the third paragraph “when it did not worth while to be glad or sorry, alive or dead. (pg.109).” This shows us that Edna didn't really know that she wanted to be alive or dead. Just like in the movies, one knows that something bad will happen to the main character eventually by the mood he/she puts off.

Good authors always use the background, mood and foreshadowing effect to make a great story. They use these methods to keep the reader/viewer on the edge of their seat when they read a story. It is almost as if the reader is watching the movie version of the book. Kate Chopin uses vivid detail and descriptive mood to write the story. It creates more dramatic effect and makes people actually visualize what is happening.





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