Breaking Through the Barrier: Kate Chopin

1178 Words5 Pages
Breaking Through the Barrier
Inspiration comes from anywhere or anything. Kate Chopin being born at a time where men were thought as superior, “soared above the level plain of tradition and prejudice” through her books and short stories that defied this norm (Chopin 217). As Chopin once said, "the artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies” (Chopin 165). Prime examples of this writing style are her book and short stories The Awakening, “The Story of an Hour,” and “Desiree’s Baby.” These books share Kate Chopin's passion for feminism and her views toward gender roles and equality. I will analyze Kate Chopin’s style and literary strategies and explain how society had an effect on women change throughout nineteenth-century.
One great example of Chopin's literary style is her book, The Awakening, which was published in 1899, and it immediately created a controversy. Critics were shocked by her depiction of a woman with active sexual desires, who dares to leave her husband and have an affair. Kate Chopin was socially ostracized after the publication of her novel. Her main character, Edna, begins to question marriage and describes it as “one of the most lamentable spectacles on earth” (Chopin 70). This “awakening” happened at the time she met Robert, the elder son of Madame Lebrun. At first, the relationship between Edna and Robert is naive. They mostly talk by the beach and swim. However, as time passes Edna becomes closer to Robert. She begins to realize that she is unhappy with her husband and is inspired to paint as she used to in her youth. Robert helps her become aware of her independence and sexuality.
Chopin uses Edna's childhood memories, her immersion in the sea and birds as symbols of Edna’s rebirth ...

... middle of paper ...

...ster that results when she loses his love and he refuses to talk to her. The laughing is not an expression of happiness, but rather of desperation and disbelief, as well as of certain instability of emotion from her discovery--which drives her to suicide.

Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Chicago & New York: Herbert S. Stone & Co., 1899.
Chopin, Kate. (1969). The Complete Works of Kate Chopin. Ed. Per Seyersted. Baton Rough: Louisiana State University Press. pp.18, 96.
Emmert, Scott D. "Naturalism and the Short Story Form in Kate Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour'." Scribbling Women & the Short Story Form: Approaches by American & British Women Writers. 74-85. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2008.
Wang, Bella. Kissel, Adam ed. "Kate Chopin's Short Stories Study Guide : Summary and Analysis of "Désirée's Baby"". GradeSaver, 21 February 2010 Web. 4 April 2014.
Open Document