As in many Romantic works of the 19th century, birds in The Awakening are symbols of freedom and imagination. In flight, they soar above earthly rules and inhibitions. They observe the world from a cool distance, like passengers on a plane watching abstract squares of farmland. The power of flight (imagination) allows the birds to escape the laws of the earth.
Birds Symbol Timeline in The Awakening
The timeline below shows where the symbol Birds appears in The Awakening. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...Arobin dismisses the thought. She remembers something interesting Mademoiselle Reisz had said about a wayward bird needing strong wings; Arobin has heard only unpleasant things about the pianist, and wishes Edna... (full context)