I made the decision to start rereading The Awakening after being unable to formulate anything about The Turn of the Screw. This choice was definitely the right one as I am feeling a lot less stress about this paper now. I drove to a nearby coffee shop and and devoted my Saturday to the task of producing a rough first draft. The combination of the smell of coffee and a good book is one that would make anyone’s day. Upon reading one page, I started writing and was able to get a rough page of thoughts written down rather quickly. My day would be productive thanks to a readily available caffeine source and a sparked motivation from being reintroduced to such a novel and reading it through a new lense.
This is not my first time reading The Awakening, as I read it almost exactly four years ago in my CAPP English class in high school. I remember loving the book then and the feelings of endearment toward the book have quickly returned. It has been interesting reading the novel with a new set of eyes. I have grown in the past four years through college and experiences that have allowed me to read the book in a different way. It has been interesting looking at what things I had previously marked as “important” when I read the novel as a high school senior as to what I deem “important” now (interestingly enough I have marked almost all new passages). Rereading a novel at different points in one’s life provides an interesting perspective. One does not realize how much they have changed over the course of a few years until they are forced into reinterpreting a novel or piece of art.
Instead of dreading this assignment as I had previously when I tried to write about The Turn of the Screw, I am excited to read and write. I have found once again that the topic makes all the difference in whether or not the writing experience will be enjoyable or absolutely dreadful. I believe as a future educator, I need to take this into consideration when assigning writing for my students. Giving students the choice on which book to write about rather than requiring that everyone reads and writes about the same one could make all the difference in whether or not my students love writing time or despise it. I only wish I had made this realization earlier so I would have had more time to reread and formulate a better draft. Thankfully, writing is a process and I have plenty of time to revise and edit. This is not the one-and-done type of assignment that I am used to.
At this point in time, I have decided to write about the symbolism of the various birds throughout the novel and how they relate to Edna’s feelings of oppression and freedom. Part of me wants to write about the relation of the forty chapters to the forty weeks of pregnancy as there are signs that point to the potential of the novel chronicling Edna’s pregnancy, but I think at this current time the aforementioned topic could be a bit out there and I do not think I am prepared enough to write about such a complex topic. Perhaps in a later paper I can dissect this idea further.
In Disney’s 2010 movie, Tangled, Rapunzel sings a whole song about finally being able to see the lights and how the fog has lifted in regards to her relationship with one Eugene Fitzherbert. The aforementioned song is how I am feeling in this moment, not about a physical relationship, however, but rather about my current writing assignment. The fogginess of my brain that is writer’s block has lifted and I am finally able to see the light that inspiration in writing my close reading paper.