The Writing Style and Beliefs of Kate Chopin

Powerful Essays
The Writing Style and Beliefs of Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin was an extraordinary writer of the nineteenth century. Despite failure to receive positive critical response, she became one of the most powerful and controversial writers of her time. She dared to write her thoughts on topics considered radical: the institution of marriage and women's desire for social, economic, and political equality. With a focus on the reality of relationships between men and women, she draws stunning and intelligent characters in a rich and bold writing style that was not accepted because it was so far ahead of its time. She risked her reputation by creating female heroines as independent women who wish to receive sexual and emotional fulfillment, an idea unheard of in the 1800s.

In the late nineteenth century, the central belief of the vast majority was that the woman's job was to support and nurture her husband and children. Women were given no individual identity and were seen only in relation to a family. Women of this time could not vote and therefore had no say in any political matter. Women who wished to comment politically did so with some form of art, including music, painting, and writing (Magill, American 387). According to Frank Magill, when a woman considers herself only as a part of a relationship with someone, then that relationship becomes the central issue of her life (American 386). As a woman whose husband died young, leaving her six children to raise alone, Chopin understands that kind of dependency upon relationships (Magill, American 384). Almost as working out of her own role, she explores in her writing the complexity between men and women.

Readers realize that Chopin's writing in the 1890s was far ahead of ...

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...'The Storm'." The Markham Review 2.2 (1970): 1-4.

Baker, Christopher. "Chopin's 'The Storm.'" Explicator 52.4 (1994): 225-226.

Chopin, Kate. "The Storm." Literature Across Cultures. 2nd ed. Sheena Gillespie, Terezinha Fonseca, Carol A. Sanger. Boston, Allyn: 1998. 345-348.

---. "A Respectable Woman." Gillepsie, Fonseca, and Sanger. 342-344.

---. "At the 'Cadian Ball." The Awakening and selected stories by Kate Chopin. Ed. Sandra M. Gilbert. New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1983.


---. "Athénaïse." Gilbert. 229-261.

Dyer, Joyce. "Gouvernail, Kate Chopin's Sensitive Bachelor." The Southern Literary Journal 14.1 (1981): 46-55.

Magill, Frank N., ed. Critical Survey of Short Fiction. New Jersey: Salem Press, 1981. 1132-1136.

---. Magill's Survey of American Literature New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 1991. 386-391.