Local color writing began proliferating in the late 1800’s with the focus on fiction and poetry with dual influences of romanticism and realism. “Kate O’Flaherty Chopin was born on February 8, 1850, in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Eliza Faris and Thomas O’Flaherty. Eliza Faris was only sixteen when, in 1844, she married O’Flaherty, a widower twenty-three years her senior and the father of a young boy named George. KATE CHOPIN SPENT the first half of her life preparing to write and the second half making up for lost time. In a literary career that spanned no more than fourteen years, Chopin produced three novels, more than a hundred short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and translations. She started writing at the age of thirty-nine, when her husband died, drawing primarily on her life in Louisiana.”(pg. 55-74)
Kate Chopin an American author of local color writing wrote about local color in various works of literature .By analyzing the specific characteristics of local color writing one can explore in depth the settings, characters, and symbols of Kate Chopin stories such as, “Desiree’s baby”, “The Awakening”, and “The Hour”.
One of the characteristics in Kate Chopin’s short stories “Desiree’s Baby” with reference to settings in local color that is common in Louisiana. For example, Chopin describes the setting in the story in the following passage. “She disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou” (Page 555). Chopin describes in detail the swamps of Louisiana by capturing the setting in nature. For this reason, a person reading “desires baby” can clearly see how Chopin used the nature aspect which...
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...terature. On a psychological level when a person sleeps they have no conscious thoughts in a sense it is the equivalent of being dead except the person eventually wakes up. Therefore it is no coincidence that people who suffer from depression tend to sleep excessively more than a person who is not depressed. In Chopin’s story “The Awakening”, Edna oversleeps on a regular basis. In short, sleep symbolizing Edna’s desire to escape.
Although local color writing was not confined to just the south, the diversity was rather unique. In conclusion, local color writing emphasizes the setting, characters, and symbols of a specific region. It is worth mentioning that in addition to the settings, characters and symbols in local color writing a person could explore the themes and motifs as well. Such stories as Kate Chopin’s work “Desiree’s Baby”, “The Awakening” and “The Hour”.
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