The Power of Water

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The great power of water is so enormous and beyond ourselves, that everything on this planet is at its mercy. The Bible glorifies water’s power in stories such as Genesis, when God instructs Noah to build an arc to save his family as well as two of every animal due to the fact that God is going to destroy everything he created with water. This shows that water is so powerful since God himself chose it to cleanse the world of everything good and evil. Another Biblical story that shows water’s power is when Moses parts the Red Sea to lead his people to safety, and then lets his pursuers drown in the aftermath. This shows water’s power because though Moses defies it, the looming danger it brings is still present. This Biblical allusion of water’s power is found in many pieces of literature. One example would be in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. In the middle of the novel, Edna goes out into the ocean and attempts to swim, yet she is too afraid of drowning. This fear of the power of the water correlates with her fear to defy society. However, at the end of the novel, Edna gives in to the water’s (society’s) power and allows herself to drown. Kate Chopin, in using this Biblical motif, really allowed her readers to fully understand Edna’s inner and societal struggles, which pulls the novel together as a whole. Though this is one example, other novels consisting of this Biblical motif are:

 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: at the mercy of the water

Hamlet: Ophelia succumbs to water’s power when she drowns

The Great Gatsby: water is keeping him apart from Daisy

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3 Responses to The Power of Water

  1. ablyster says:

    On the whole, this paragraph was really detailed in how the strength and motif of water in the bible can also play a role in The Awakening. I definitely see the connection to this novel, however, I’m wondering if the water that is being used as a motif is the same as the water in The Awakening. In other words, is it the force of water that is making the impact in Edna’s life i.e. destroying her, or taking things away from her, like it did in the bible? Or is Edna using the water as a means to flee from a life she doesn’t feel is worth living? I definitely agree with water being a motif in both, though, and think that this was a really thorough job!

  2. grayj888 says:

    Caroline, the correlation to Chopin’s The Awakening was fantastic as it does truly show the true power of water and it’s devastating prowess. Perhaps one more Biblical story involving water is necessary for it is such a large part of the Bible and it is prevalent in almost every story. I also wonder if the drownings in both The Awakening and Hamlet are related through means of acts of fleeing. Great post as a whole!

  3. shakirademitrus says:

    The connection between the Bible and The Awakening is quite interesting, I wouldve loved if you have shared your thoughts more on some of the three texts in which you listed below. With another drowning in the mix, it would be interesting to hear what conclusion you can draw between them all!

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