Bayou Folk, A Collection of Louisiana Stories by Kate Chopin

1126 Words5 Pages
No Longer Silent
Kate Chopin was a female writer whose sense of self was deeply rooted in the south. Chopin would create worlds for her characters to live in; her inspiration for these worlds was her own experiences in her life which she gained from living in the south during the second half of the nineteenth century. Chopin’s roots and the time in which she lived had historical significance and great impact on her style of writing and themes within her stories. She was also one of the first American authors to write truthfully about woman’s hidden lives, their sexuality, and about woman’s complex relationships they had with their husbands. The critic Per Seyersted said that [Kate Chopin] “Broke new ground in American literature. She was the first woman writer in her country to accept passion as a legitimate subject for serious, outspoken fiction” (“Kate Chopin: Overview”). Chopin was one writer who would test the boundaries with her stories.
One of the first books Chopin published was Bayou Folk, a collection of Louisiana stories, in 1894. It was very well accepted by the public and marked her as a great local color writer. Chopin was well-known for her work as a local colorist, but to describe Kate Chopin’s writing one has to look at many types of styles. There are elements of romanticism, transcendentalism, realism, naturalism, existentialism, feminism as well as local color.
Chopin’s feminist point of view was not what one would consider as a dictionary term feminist; she never joined any feminist groups to seek equal rights for women. Rather “Chopin saw that the problems confronting her sex were too complicated to admit of easy solutions…… In a society where man makes the rules, woman is often kept in a state of tutelage a...

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.... Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 May. 2014.
Seyersted, Per. "An excerpt from Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography." Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography. Per Seyersted. Louisiana State University Press, 1969. Rpt. in World Literature Criticism, Supplement 1-2: A Selection of Major Authors from Gale's Literary Criticism Series. Ed. Polly Vedder. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 May 2014.
Seyersted, Per. "Kate Chopin: Overview." Reference Guide to American Literature. Ed. Jim Kamp. 3rd Ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994.Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 May. 2014.
Toth, Emily. "Kate Chopin and Literary Convention: 'Désirée's Baby,'." in Southern Studies 20.2 (Summer 1981): 201-208. Rpt. in Short Stories for Students. Ed. Jennifer Smith. Vol. 13. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 May 2014.

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