Kate Chopin Essay

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Kate Chopin Kate Chopin is an American writer of the late nineteenth century. She is known for her depictions of southern culture and of women's struggles for freedom. At this time in American history, women did not have a voice of their own and according to custom, they were to obey their father and husband. Generally, many women agreed to accept this customary way of life. Kate Chopin thought quite differently. The boldness Kate Chopin takes in portraying women in the late nineteenth century can be seen throughout The Awakening and other short stories. The following is an overview of her dramatic writing style.

Elaine Showalter states, "Chopin went boldly beyond the work of her precursors in writing about women's
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Leonce is Edna's older husband who expects his wife to obey the region's social conventions. He sees Edna as a "piece of personal property" (Chopin The Awakening 2).

Chopin tells in the novel that Edna is "fond of her husband," with " no trace of passion or excessive and fictitious warmth" (18). Edna married Leonce primarily to secure a fatherly protector who would not make too many domestic, emotional, and sexual demands on her. Edna also has no motherly attachment to her children. "She was fond of her children in and uneven, impulsive way." When her children were away, "she did not miss them except with an occasional intense longing" (18). These feelings show that Edna was not the normal "mother-woman" of that time.

The largest and most criticized step Chopin takes is in The Awakening. Edna is having many mixed feelings about herself and her sexuality. In the novel, Chopin allows Edna to have an affair. This affair is not out of love but out of the need for passion in Edna's life. When Edna's one true love leaves, this allows Edna to face her changing feelings. Her true love, Robert, returns but they both realize it is not ment to be and he leaves again. He explains his action by saying, "I love you. Good-by, because I love you," (112).

Much shock felt by the readers toward The Awakening and other stories by Chopin was the boldness she took in rejecting the conventions of other women's writing. In The Awakening, Edna

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