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Allusion in The Awakening

Allusion Examples in The Awakening:

Chapter XXV

1

"by going to the “Dante reading” instead of joining them..."   (Chapter XXV)

The “Dante reading” is a powerful allusion, placing The Awakening in the context of the themes of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Dante’s epic poem is the story of a man who undergoes a spiritual awakening at midlife, moving through Hell, Purgatory, and finally Heaven. At the start of The Awakening, Edna finds herself called to embark on a similar journey.

" Venus rising from the foam ..."   (Chapter XXXIX)

This is an allusion to the Roman myth that Venus, the goddess of love, rose out of the sea in a cloud of foam. This version of Venus’ birth story was made popular by a 1480s painting called The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Mariequita compares Edna to Venus to suggest that she is more beautiful than the goddess of love and beauty herself.

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