Dreaming of Something Bigger

Fun fact about me: I had to read Kate Chopin’s The Awakening in three different classes. Every time I read it, I discovered something new and fell in love with the book more and more. One of the more controversial scenes in the noveland there are manyis the ending scene when Edna, the novel’s protagonist, walks into the ocean without a plan to return. I always found this scene beautiful, ethereal somehow. I don’t think Chopin meant to romanticize suicide and I certainly don’t think that I am either.

This piece is a representation of that scene. I always imagined that Edna was dreaming of something bigger, even more than what the novel shows or implies. For her, she wasn’t simply giving in or even giving up: she was heading towards a destination, one open and free as she always wished her society to be. This depiction is my visualization of that paradise. The bird cage, a motif in the novel, is shattered as not only a bird flies free, but as the water from the ocean flow out, wild and untamed. The collage of the gradual sunset is glued from ripped rice paper, giving the illusion of blurred edges and soft texture. A silhouette stands, so tiny and small that everything around it seems big. Maybe that’s Edna, or maybe that’s someone else, or even you and me. Whoever that may be, in this microcosm of the drawing, we are all free.

By Anna Lee

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