The Importance of Male Characters to Kate Chopin Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 860 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Importance of Male Characters to Kate Chopin

Why and how does she use them?

Kate Chopin is an author who examines the position of women in 19th
century Louisiana. She describes their plight, living in a society
designed by men, one that confines women’s behavior. It was
imperative for Kate Chopin to highlight her male characters, as they
ultimately are responsible for her heroines’ actions. The “Awakening”
and “Desiree’s Baby” are two examples that deal with the issues
resulting from a male dominant society, though the stories vary in
their approach. Men and marriage are however the common factors that
symbolize the obstacles that Kate Chopin’s women face.

In “The Awakening” Edna, the main character enjoys being married at
first but later she finds it to be very limiting and oppressive. A
free spirit by nature, she rebels against her husband and the life
that he stands for. She hates the implications that women in her
society “belong” to men, and that their place is at home doing
domestic chores and raising children. This impression is reinforced
when Kate Chopin lets the reader view the situation through Edna’s
eyes, saying that women are regarded “as one looks at a valuable piece
of property…” (p.11) Furthermore, men decide women’s role in life
declaring that “if it is not a (woman’s) place to look after children,
who on earth was it?” (p.15) This role is so precisely defined,
ensuring that women will stay within the walls of the house with their

Marriage was the process by which men gained total control over women.
The author indicates that a marriage at that period of time was not
always carefully planned but was rather a spontaneous and passionate
act. For example, Edna’s “ma...

... middle of paper ...

... was arrogant and overconfident of himself
and his heritage, and was sure that the fault was Desiree’s never
questioning his own ancestry. By jumping to conclusions he never gave
her a chance to explain herself to him. At the end, Desiree who had
been overwhelmed and desperate drowned herself and her baby.

Kate Chopin developed her female characters as reaction to male
attitudes. She used men, marriage and the rules by which women were
confined to demonstrate her point. She described men as the ones who
placed obstacles in women’s way, created social rules and put
restrictions that confined their lives. These boundaries were at times
physical but almost always emotional, and eliciting defiant behavior
and reactions from the women involved. Placed by men, these
limitations helped in shaping the female character of Kate Chopin’s
heroines in her stories.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Importance of Point of View in Kate Chopin’s Fiction Essay - The Importance of Point of View in Kate Chopin’s Fiction The impact of Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, on society resulted in her ruin, both literary and social. Reviewers called it vulgar, improper, unhealthy, and sickening. One critic said that he wished she had never written it, and another wrote that to truly describe the novel would entail language not fit for publication (Stipe 16). The overwhelming condemnation of the entire book rather than just Edna’s suicide seems surprising in light of her successful short story career....   [tags: Chopin Awakening Essays]
:: 11 Works Cited
3296 words
(9.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Importance of Dialect and Names in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay - The Importance of Dialect and Names in The Storm Kate Chopin is able to put life into her characters in her short story The Storm because she has lived a life similar to that of the people in it. She was raised by her French Creole mother, which explains her ties to Creole in her story. She married a wealth New Orleans cotton broker and in 1888 he died. She was left with no money and six children so she turned to writing as a means to raise them. The characters in her story depict life in the Cajun area of America and it shows in the nature of their ways....   [tags: Chopin Storm Essays] 876 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparison of Ripe Figs, The Story of an Hour, and The Storm by Kate Chopin - Comparison of Ripe Figs, The Story of an Hour, and The Storm by Kate Chopin In the three short works, "Ripe Figs," "The Story of an Hour," and "The Storm," Kate Chopin has woven into each an element of nature over which no one has control. She uses short time spans to heighten impact and bring her stories to quick conclusions. She displays attitudes in her characters in two of her stories which may have been very controversial at the time they were written. "Ripe Figs" is the shorter of the three, covering a summer in a young girl's life....   [tags: Kate Chopin Literature Element Nature Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1076 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Importance of Weather in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay - The Importance of Weather in The Storm The Storm, by Kate Chapin, is a short story about two people that have and affair during a storm. Basically, it’s like this. The story involves two families, that of Bobinot, Calixta, and Bibi, and Alcee, Clarisse, and their babies. Calixta is at her house separated from her family due to the storm. Alcee is separated from his family because they are visiting another town. The storm brings Calixta and Alcee together and they have an affair. It s set in a small town in the late 1800s....   [tags: Chopin Storm Essays] 1228 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Storm by Kate Chopin Essay - “The Storm” by Kate Chopin is a short story that touches on the controversial subject of adultery. The two characters Calixta and Alcee were both happily married. They reunited spontaneously during the midst of a severe storm, when old feelings resurfaced. Their actions out of lust were feelings they had long forgotten. Soon enough the storm had calmed, and the two parted ways; smiling back at each other they said their goodbyes. Their actions were without the intention of being deceitful, but rather uncontrollable....   [tags: Adultery, American Lit, Analysis] 1349 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Structural Technique in The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin Essay - ... Although implemented skillfully, the complication serves no essential purpose in this short story. Continuing, Chopin provides the crisis to aid in the structure of “The Story of an Hour.” The crisis is the initiation of tension and provides the turning point in a story. Mrs. Mallard’s reaction to the news is considered the crisis in this story. Upon hearing of her husband’s death, Louise “instantly grasps it” (Shmoop) and locks herself in her room to cry. The majority of widows would reject the announcement and insist that their husbands would be coming home any second....   [tags: dense structure, crisis, tension]
:: 3 Works Cited
871 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Creole Men of The Awakening by Kate Chopin Essay - In Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening, the Creole men are as diverse and different as Edna. Kate Chopin’s story centers around a woman, unsatisfied with her life in a man dominated society. The three main male characters resemble typical men of that era. Chopin shows the diversity of each of those three characters- Roberts awakening, and the struggle to do the right thing, Alcee and his carefree and unconcerned attitude towards society's expectations, and Mr. Pontiller, a business man, with little time left for wife and family....   [tags: essays research papers] 1987 words
(5.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Strength in Struggle: Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening - Strength in Struggle Many readers see the actions of Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening as those of a feminist martyr. Edna not only defies her husband and commits adultery, but chooses death over life in a society that will not grant her gender equality. Although this reading may fit, it is misguided in that it ignores a basic aspect of Chopin’s work, the force that causes Mrs. Mallard’s happiness in “The Story of an Hour” upon the news of her husbands death, “that blind persistence in which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature” (Chopin 353)....   [tags: feminism, marriage, individuality]
:: 5 Works Cited
2937 words
(8.4 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Research Paper on Kate Chopin and Her Works - Kate Chopin is best known for her novel, The Awakening, published in 1899. After its publication, The Awakening created such uproar that its author was alienated from certain social circles in St. Louis. The novel also contributed to rejections of Chopin's later stories including, "The Story of An Hour" and "The Storm." The heavy criticism that she endured for the novel hindered her writing. The male dominated world was simply not ready for such an honest exploration of female independence, a frank cataloguing of a woman's desires and her search for fulfillment outside of the institution of marriage....   [tags: American Literature] 2396 words
(6.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Awakening - Kenneth Eble states, “…She undertook to give the unsparing truth about women’s submerged life” (2). Speaking solely about Kate Chopin, this quote puts emphasis upon Chopin’s disputes with her society. She used her writing as a technique to indirectly explicate her life by the means of narrating her stories through the characters she created. Kate Chopin was one of the modern writers of her time, one who wrote novels concentrating on the common social matters related to women. Her time period consisted of other female authors that focused on the same central theme during the era: exposing the unfairness of the patriarchal society, and women’s search for selfhood, and their search for identity...   [tags: Literary Analysis, Kate Chopin] 1891 words
(5.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]