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Kate Chopin - Research Paper Example

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Awakening the Female in Kate Chopin’s Works Instructor name Date Abstract Kate Chopin lived and worked in a time when women were not expected to work or do anything for themselves. For many overworked women today, this may seem like an ideal situation…
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Kate Chopin
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Kate Chopin

Download file to see previous pages... On the rare occasion when one 'woke up' from her enforced dullness, she was either reduced in social status, ruined forever, or killed by the restrictions keeping her from remaining fully awake. These are the issues Chopin explores in her work, reminding us, even now, of the need to protect women's rights and freedoms. Awakening the Female in Kate Chopin’s Works Perhaps the greatest single characteristic of the Victorian age was its nature as an era full of strong contradictions. These contradictions are often captured in the works of female writers working during this time period. As the greater world of farm and commerce changed around them, women as a gender began to question their expected roles in society and began demanding more opportunities available for personal fulfillment. This wasn't simply a selfish desire to follow their own dreams, although this was a factor. It was also a recognition of the fact that many women found it necessary to have more options open to them for self-support and for the greater welfare of their families. Although women throughout time had found various ways to make it on their own, it was rarely possible for them to attain both material comfort and personal independence without the interference of a man. These are issues that figure prominently in women's writing of the time, such as in the work of Kate Chopin. Within her short stories and novels, Chopin reveals deep meaning and strong feminism embedded within the text due to her careful use of perspective and imagery. Her talent enables her to ‘paint a picture’ of life as it was experienced in that moment. Her stories gain their strength by focusing on key elements of the environment in which the characters move and through the special attention she gives to just how the story should be told. Her style enables the reader to experience the various constraining forces, both material and psychological, that were experienced by women of her time and illustrates why they would want to escape from it. These ideas are easily discovered in a comparison among some of Chopin's short stories, such as “The Story of an Hour” and "The Storm," and her novel Awakening as the women experience an awakening to their own long-hidden inner nature. The possibility that one can actually awake to a hidden inner self is the primary action of many of Chopin's works and can be easily found in her short short story "The Story of an Hour." The story begins with the introduction of a frail woman later discovered to be named Louise. Louise is sitting in her home's living room being told by her sister and a close family friend of the sudden death of her husband during a railroad accident. “She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms” (Chopin 199). Following her somewhat alarming outburst, Louise closes herself in her upstairs bedroom and sits in another chair looking out the window as she considers her new position as a widow. Her feelings toward her husband are revealed in this scene to have been strangely ambivalent: “And yet she had loved him – sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter?” (Chopin 201). The horror of her emptiness as a married woman is clearly expressed in her nearly emotionless assessment of what she’s lost in conjunction with her dawning realization that she is finally free to follow her own idea of happiness: “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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