Kate Chopin Feminism

1479 Words6 Pages
Throughout the years, many authors have pushed beyond safe to write about what is important. Rather than take the easy way out, they have gone beyond their peers in an attempt to write about something real. Kate Chopin was one of those authors. She wrote about women as they really think and wish to act. Her presentation of the female self has had an immense impact on breaking through conventional constraints placed on women.

Many critics wonder how Kate Chopin wrote so far ahead of her time. As a child, she was strongly influenced by the environment in which she grew up. After the death of her father at the age of five, she lived in a house run entirely by women (Louisiana). These women had a big impact on her view of the world. Chopin’s great-grandmother, her first teacher, recounted stories of her great-great grandmother who filed for divorce, had a child out of wedlock, and ran a highly successful keelboat line in St. Louis (Boren 18). However, her great-great grandmother was not the only independent woman in her family.

Many of the other women who influenced her life demonstrated independent lifestyles. Virtually all of her female relatives she was exposed to far outlived their husbands and never remarried (Toth 11). Chopin remained fascinated by the lives of her female ancestors as seen in several of her works that directly depict their life (Boren 18). The French nuns at Sacred Heart Convent that she attended as a child also held unconventional ideas of women, encouraging them to become educated and engage in intellectual activities (Louisiana). All of these women contributed to Kate Chopin’s view of women as independent, which she later voiced in her writings.

The majority of Chopin’s writing is in the form of short st...

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...nt above and beyond that of her contemporaries in the late nineteenth century. She discussed topics others would not touch and the world has been greatly enriched because of that.

Works Cited

Boren, Lynda S., and Sara DeSaussure Davis, eds. Kate Chopin Reconsidered: Beyond the Bayou. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1992. Print.

Bukovinsky, Janet. Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-five Important Writers. Philadelphia, PA: Running, 1994. Print.

Heeden, Jennifer. "A Woman Who Is a Person." VWC: Faculty and Staff Web. Virginia Wesleyan College. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. .

Louisiana Public Broadcasting, prod. Kate Chopin: A Re-Awakening. PBS. 23 June 1999. Television. Transcript.

Skaggs, Peggy. Kate Chopin. Boston: Twayne, 1985. Print.

Toth, Emily. Unveiling Kate Chopin. Jackson: University of Mississippi, 1999. Print.
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