Langston Hughes and Kate Chopin usage nature in several dimensions to
show the powerful battles and loads of human life. Throughout Kate Chopin & # 8217 ; s The Awakening and several of Langston Hughes poems, the sweeping imagination of the beauty and power of nature demonstrates the battles the characters confront, and their eventual freedom from those battles. Nature and freedom coexist, and the characters finally learn to happen freedom from the confines of society, oneself, and eventually freedom within one s psyche. The usage of nature for this purpose brings the characters and talkers in Chopin & # 8217 ; s and Hughes & # 8217 ; works to life, and the reader experiences the life and freedom of those characters. Nature, in the plants of Chopin and Hughes serves as a powerful symbol that represents the battle of the human psyche towards freedom, the torment of that battle, and the joy when that freedom is eventually reached.
In The Awakening, the supporter Edna Pontellier undergoes a metabolism. She lives in Creole society, a society that restricts gender, particularly for adult females of the clip. Edna is bound by the confines of a loveless matrimony, unrealized, unhappy, and closed in like a caged bird. During her summer at Grand Isle she is confronted with herself in her truest nature, and finds herself brush off by passion and love for person she can non hold, Robert Lebrun. The imagination of the ocean at Grand Isle and its properties symbolize a force naming her to face her internal battles, and happen freedom. Chopin uses the imagination of the ocean to stand for the innate force within her psyche that is naming to her.
The voice of the sea is seductive ; ne’er ceasing, rustle,
clamour, mutter, ask foring the psyche to roll for a enchantment in
abysms of purdah ; to lose itself in a labyrinth of inward
Through nature and its power, Edna, begins to happen freedom in her psyche. Then she returns to a life in the metropolis, which resides the struggles that surround her. Edna grew up on a Mississippi plantation, where life was simple, happy, and peaceful. The images of nature, which serve as a symbol for freedom of the psyche, appear when she speaks of this being. In the novel, she remembers a simpler life when she was a kid, engulfed in nature and free:
The hot air current whipping in my face made me believe without any connexion
that I can follow of a summer twenty-four hours in Kentucky, of a hayfield that seemed
every bit large as the ocean to the really small miss walking through the
grass, which was higher than her waist. She threw out her weaponries as if
swimming when she walked, crushing the tall grass as one strikes out
in the H2O
Chopin & # 8217 ; s mention to swimming occurs many times in the novel, and through the ocean and her experience of swimming, she non merely confronts nature, but she challenges and discovers her true ego. The usage of nature is particularly important as a memory in her childhood because it marks a clip in her life when she was happy and free. This image of swimming returns to her when her psyche is get downing to reopen, at Grand Isle. When Edna eventually learns to swim, she finds herself frightened, entirely, overwhelmed, and surrounded in a huge sweep of H2O. Her experience swimming in the ocean for the first clip parallels her find and submergence in the true nature of her psyche:
& # 8220 ; As she swam she seemed to be making out for the limitless in which
to lose herself. . . A speedy vision of decease smote her psyche, and for
a 2nd of clip appalled and enfeebled her sense. & # 8221 ;
She is frightened by her ain self-discovery yet is enraptured by it. It is this contradiction and this confrontation with nature that brings about Eden s self-discovery and metabolism within the novel. It is more than love for Robert that drives her to be free from the limitations of this society. Alternatively, it is her find of her ain true ego that causes her to eschew the confines of society. Edna & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; self-discovery & # 8221 ; awakens her, and she is able to recognize her ain psyche, a psyche filled with passion and gender. However, even though she has found freedom within her ain psyche, she can non be genuinely free in this urban society. The symbol of the ocean appears once more after Edna has been awakened and discovered the power of her ego. Edna, with an interior sense of freedom, confronts the realisation that the bonds of society necessitating her entry are powerful forces, which will seek to flex and defile her new sense of freedom. Again, we see the contradictions of the self-discovery and rousing conflicting straight with the limitations of society, which do non let Edna to be free. This contradiction causes monolithic internal battle for Edna, and for her, there seems to be merely one manner to decide this struggle. This confrontation is seen at the terminal of the novel through the symbol of the ocean:
She cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the
first clip in her life she stood bare in the unfastened air, at the clemency
of the Sun, the zephyr that beat upon her, and the moving ridges that invited
Edna has discovered something in
side her and she can non return to the individual she was. Her psyche is free, but the load of that freedom is excessively much ; it overwhelms and overtakes her so that she can non be in this universe. It seems to Edna that life is non deserving life in a prison. As a consequence, at the terminal of the novel, the ocean beckons her and she follows. She swims into the inviting and seductive sea, ne’er to return. In the ocean, she is free.
Similarly, in Langston Hughes & # 8217 ; poesy, nature serves as a strong symbol for victory and licking of the psyche. He uses the imagination of rivers to show the talker s connexion with the Earth and nature in his verse form, & # 8220 ; The Negro Speaks of Rivers & # 8221 ; .
In this verse form, the talker in the verse form has & # 8220 ; known rivers & # 8221 ; ; he speaks of & # 8220 ; rivers ancient as the universe and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. & # 8221 ; Rivers symbolize the line of life of the Earth. When the talker refers to the rivers, he is reflecting on his connexion with the Earth. He feels a portion of the Earth, and it is about as if his psyche is kindred to the Earth when he says, & # 8220 ; My psyche has grown deep like the rivers. & # 8221 ; In this verse form, Langston Hughes uses the imagination and symbolism of rivers as an look of the unity between the psyche and the Earth. The talker & # 8217 ; s psyche is united with nature ; he is like a river in that, he is connected with Earth, nature, and himself.
The verse form & # 8220 ; Sun Song & # 8221 ; , by Langston Hughes, uses a similar look of the affinity between adult male and Earth, yet a elusive contrast exists. In this verse form, nature is non viewed as entirely perfect. The talker sings of & # 8220 ; Sun and softness, & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; Sun and the beaten hardness of the Earth & # 8221 ; . The softness of the Sun and the hardness of the Earth show the duality of adult male s relationship with nature. Man basks in the beauty of nature while at the same clip fighting against its forces. The Earth is difficult and we toil under the Sun, yet we can appreciate the admiration of Sun and the vocal of all the sun-stars. Hughes s musical linguistic communication expresses without contempt this relationship between adult male and the Earth.
Again, in the verse form & # 8220 ; Dream Variations & # 8221 ; , Hughes demonstrates how nature helps observe and liberate the psyche. The tone of the verse form is celebratory and the talker is joyous as he rejoices at the terminal of a twenty-four hours:
To fling my weaponries broad
In some topographic point of the Sun,
To twirl and to dance
Till the white twenty-four hours is done.
Then remainder at cool eventide
Beneath a tall tree. . .
The talker s psyche is free and liberated as he rejoices with nature. He celebrates in the Sun, and rests beneath the comfort of a tree. Nature non merely provides adult male with a agencies to show the freedom of his psyche, but it besides gives adult male his alleviation. In contrast, a different side of nature is depicted in Hughes & # 8217 ; s verse form, & # 8220 ; Song for a Dark Girl & # 8221 ; . The linguistic communication in this verse form paints a ghastly image of a racialist South. In this verse form, nature is rough, unjust, and cruel. Alternatively of supplying adult male with a agencies to show the freedom of his psyche, nature confines the psyche. Nature serves as a symbol for the imprisonment and decease of the psyche. The black adult male that is lynched in the verse form could non be free in this society, and the miss he leaves behind mourns at the sight of the tree. For her, the image of this tree brings anguish to the psyche:
Way Down South in Dixie
( interrupt the bosom of me )
They hung my black immature lover
To a cross roads tree.
The tree is the object on which this miss s lover was hung. Nature becomes a symbol for the load of the torment of the psyche. Nature s function in this verse form non merely kills the immature lover, but besides suffocates the psyche of the immature miss. Love is a bare shadow on a gnarly and bare tree. Nature bears witness to the immoralities of adult male, the agonies of love, the loss of a loved one to a brutal and inhumane decease. Nature serves non as a symbol of the load of the freedom of the psyche, but as a symbol for the imprisonment and decease of the psyche.
Here nature is the image of devastation, immorality, and natural homo hurting. Although at first glimpse, Chopin and Hughes seem to be two really different writers with different life experiences and battles. A closer expression at their plant reveals a similarity. In The Awakening, nature s strength and power is depicted in the ocean/water. Chopin contrasts the battles and freedoms in life through the imagination of nature ; the joy experienced running through tall grasses in a hayfield to a awful brush with the ageless abysm of the ocean. Similarly, in Langston Hughes & # 8217 ; s poesy, a Negro speaks of his connexion to rivers, deep in the Earth, of the softness of the Sun, and yet he besides speaks of the gnarly tree from which hangs the organic structure of a bruised, dead Negro. The imagination in these two plants appear to stand for different human experiences, but a closer scrutiny reveals that they both represent the basic human battle that plagues the characters/speakers in these plants. In these plants, the images of nature service as a symbol of the freedom of the psyche, yet at the same time functioning as a symbol for the load of accomplishing that freedom, and the torment of the battle. Both Chopin and Hughes use nature in their plants in the signifier of sweeping imagination, affecting metaphors, and precise, powerful symbolism.