Kate Chopin’s Life and the Effects on Her Works

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Where does a writer find their spark of inspiration? Writing a novel or story starts with a vision. Many authors collect ideas from their own personal life to shape their works. Family, environments, devastating experiences, and the way you are raised can all spark an idea. Chopin’s background which includes her family, her environments, and her many experiences with death in her lifetime all had an impact on her writing and shaped her into the successful writer she is famous for being.

Chopin’s non-traditional family paved the way for her outlook on life. Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis Missouri on February 8, 1851. Her father’s name is Thomas O’Flaherty. He was originally from Ireland but had found his way to New York and Illinois and then eventually made his home in St. Louis. Thomas O’Flaherty lived in St. Louis where he gained wealth as the owner of a commission house. Thomas married Eliza Faris, Eliza O’Flatery, whose family was from French-Creole origins. Kate Chopin was the third of five children in her family, but her sisters died as babies and her brothers not much older. At age five, Kate Chopin devastatingly lost her father who was killed in a train accident. Therefore, Kate Chopin lived and was raised by relatives in a household of all females. She stayed with her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother that all had lived long enough to see their husbands pass away. While staying with her family, Kate Chopin was educated by her great grandmother, Victoria Verdon Charleville, who was responsible for her education. She not only influenced her mental and artistic growth, but also guided her to tell stories created with her imagination and influenced her love of gossiping. Her great grandmother greatly influenced...

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...er, Nancy. "Kate Chopin." Research Guide To Biography & Criticism 1.(1985): 236-238. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

This article gives biographical information on author Kate Chopin. She was born on July 12, 1850 in St. Louis, Missouri, to a French Creole mother and an Irish father. In her short career, Chopin published two novels and two collections of short stories; a number of stories remained unpublished at her death and some of them are included in the book The Complete Works.

Wyatt, Neal. "Biography of Kate Chopin." Biography of Kate Chopin. N.p., 1995. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. .

This article includes an outline of Chopin’s life and a very good summary of her life broken up into small phases. That was helpful because it was easier to see possible connections between her life and work.
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