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Birds are a big symbol in The Awakening. The birds compare to Edna's life and death. The parrot and mocking bird represents how the women in that time period are caged in society. Women's movements in society are limited just like the parrot's movements are limited in the cage. The birds also are used for communication. It's mostly used to represent how Edna is in society because she's not a Creole and she's different from everyone else in New Orleans. Edna is caged as a wife and mother. Edna is trying to show how she wants to be free from her role as wife and mother, and from her husband Leonce. The owl represents freedom because it is free to fly around wherever. It shows up whenever Edna is sad or crying. She tries to escape her entrapment by moving to her own house. Her "pigeon house" represents a house of freedom because pigeons are free to come back and forth. Edna moves here to escape from her children and husband. The "pigeon house" doesn't help her out after all. She knows that in her society people will always have a problem with Edna as a mother. Mademoiselle Reisz describes Edna as a bird, trying to fly away from society. Reisz gives her advice using the bird as an example on page 83. When Edna dies she is free from all the obstacles in her life. She is a wild bird at the end when she goes into the sea.



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