The Shared Qualities of Kate Chopin Stories Kate Chopin was a writer born in 1850. She had much of her work publish in the 1890’s in Vogue Magazine. History tells us that this was a time of great repression for women, and certainly, not a time when a women’s independence was an admired characteristic. Clearly, Chopin was not a conformist. Often people refer to Chopin as a feminist. For many, the term feminist evokes an image of a woman who is aggressive and combative. She is not. In reading, “Ripe Figs” “Desiree’s Baby” and “A Story of An Hour” she displays a personality that is witty, passionate, intelligent and mindful of the challenges and struggles that many women of her era endured. Her ability to tackle difficult social issues with easy and wit, I believe, is what has led to her timeless appeal. “Ripe Figs”, was published by Vogue Magazine in 1893. She fills this story with layers of contrast that keeps the reader thinking much after they have finished reading. This is a one-page story and was originally written as a children’s book (katechopin.org). The feeling is relaxed, but sophisticated at the same time. The main character’s, Maman-Nainaine, the godmother to Babette, we believe to be the age of a traditional grandmother, and Babette is a child of maybe five or six. The story begins with Maman-Nainaine giving Babette permission to visit her cousins, “…when the figs were ripe…” What a charming way to convey a measure of time to a child. We imagine the godmother to be intelligent and thoughtful. Chopin leaves us with a curious question though, when she adds, “Not that the ripening of figs had the least thing to do with it…” This is a lovely balance of charm and thought provoking wit. She contrast their varying levels of patients by describing the godmother to be, “as patient as the statue of la Madone, and Babette as restless as a hummingbird…” When the time arrives and the figs are ripe, Babette presents Maman-Nainaine with the figs, arranged beautifully, on a beautiful, delicate dish. It seems that Babette has acquired some of her godmother’s sophistication and thoughtfulness. Few mothers will miss how effortlessly Maman-Nainaine’s refined personality has influenced her godchild and undoubtedly enjoy what society has not appreciated or has simply missed. With, “Desiree’s Babes”, Chopin addresses the issue of racism. She brings about the shame of racism and the destruction it brings to both parties in the most surprising way. The story takes the reader on a journey of true love and the power that a baby has to warm our hearts. We know these two main characters; Desiree and Armand are truly in love from the words that Madame Valmonde uses to describe the two. She says that it was the simple vision of Desiree that caused Armand to fall in love. Love at first sight, is something no one can explain but it power we all seem to understand. Chopin also states Armand’s initial concerned about Desiree and her lack of lineage; “What did it matter about a name when I could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana?” The words are saying that it doesn’t matter to him, but we know better when we are reading a Kate Chopin story. There is always another layer to the words that are written. The ending is outstanding with her skillful use of irony. In effect, Armand learns that his mother is the one who is from the “tainted” lineage, which makes himself the cause of his shame. We see again, a very Chopinques, ironic ending. She uses shame to show case racism and the characters to provoke us into recognizing the destruction felt by everyone it touches. “The Story of An Hour” was published in Vogue, December 1894. Again, Chopin treats her readers to an insightful view, of an intelligent woman, and the intricate emotions experienced by her in a relationship. The conclusion has a fantastic, Chopinsque, ironic ending. She uses foreshadowing to set us up. We know poor Mrs. Mallard has a bad heart and her…
Irony that Kills
“The Story of an Hour” tells the story of an unhappy woman named Louise Mallard’s ironic marriage. The author takes us back to what seems to be a typical marriage in the nineteenth century. The twists and turns in this short story lead up to an expecting outcome. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” is a short story that contains various ironies that connect the reader to the story and give the reader insights and knowledge that even the characters…
are the three themes that “The Story of an Hour”, “Eveline” and “A Rose for Emily” all have in common. Each story draws you in and provides examples of these three things in very different ways. In discussing these three stories I shall provide examples of how each of the main characters from the aforementioned short stories share the same characteristics of loneliness and isolation; each trapped in their own particular set of circumstances. While each of their stories varies greatly in content, their…
Of Our Choice:
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
Attention gaining questions:
-What is Happiness in general?
-What is happiness in a marriage? Will there be different levels of happiness if the marriage is voluntary or arranged?
-What is Irony?
-Can the final piece of Irony in this story lead to Louise’s’ ultimate happiness? Why or Why not?
Summary of the story to read to the class:
"The Story of An Hour" is a short story told in the third person by Kate Chopin. The story was published in 1894…
Analyze the use of imagery in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.”
During the nineteenth century independence was a forbidden pleasure for women. “The Story of an Hour” written by Kate Chopin explores the captivity felt by a woman that belonges to a man through marriage. Chopin uses special forms of imagery, which imply the psychological strains of someone who is underrated by social expectations. She shows the gradual transformation from a grieving wife to a woman…
Through observing the author's diction in the passage, we can see Kate Chopin wrote this story to give readers a vivid picture on how things can affect you and make your heart become very ill. Something was told in this story and it had a great affect on a lady named Mrs. Mallard. She feels grief, freedom, and then grief again within the story.When Mrs. Mallard hears the news about her husband she suddenly felt grief. She has great pain about hearing about her husband. “She wept at once, with sudden…
Use of Setting in Kate Chopin “The Storm”
By: Marissa Green
09 June 2014
ENGL 1302, Section 16403
09 June 2014
Use of setting “The Storm”
“The Storm” by Kate Chopin, focuses on the subject of adultery. “The Storm” is a
difficult web between two former lovers and the emotions they once felt for each other. The
story is short just a few…
Kate Chopin Authorial Profile
Kate Chopin (February 8, 1850 – August 22 1904) was an American author of feminist realistic fiction short stories and novels. She was apart of the Abolishonist movement as well as the emergence of feminism, and lived through the Civil War.
Chopin was born and raised in Saint Louis Missouri by her father, a successful businessman who immigrated from Ireland, and her mother…
Calixta’s Presentation in The Storm by Kate Chopin !
Calixta is the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” who appears to feel
disconnected with her husband which triggers her to commit adultery. While she is with
another man she feels no sense of guilt which causes a controversy amongst readers.
Some readers believe what she is doing is wrong or selfish while others wonder
whether it would be more acceptable if it was Calixta’s husband having an affair. !
Readers are first…
The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is a short yet complex story, describing Mrs Mallard’s feelings. It focuses on the unfolding emotional state of Mrs Mallard after the news of her husbands death, and has overflowing symbolism and imagery. It is an impressive literary piece that touches the readers’ feelings and mind and allows the reader to have a connection to Mrs Mallard’s emotional process. Although the story is short, it is complete with each word carrying deep sense and meaning. It is written…