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In Awakening Pirandello presents the female body in a state of transformation, from relaxation to alertness. The gaping yawn and arching back reveal the physical responses to returning consciousness. The woman's body is cramped in a small space from which she threatens to stretch out. Pirandello uses a high viewpoint and angular outlines which reflect the influence of Cubism on realist painting in the late 1940s. The awakening nude may also carry implications of a post-war rebirth of Italian culture.

July 2005