Chopin, Mallard, and Calixta - Feminists? Essay

Chopin, Mallard, and Calixta - Feminists? Essay

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Let us start with Chopin herself. Without going into too much detail Kate Chopin was, for all practical purposes raised by her maternal great-grandmother. She was raised as a Catholic, took daily music lessons and was told somewhat adult stories by her great-grandmother spinning the local gossip regarding the founders of St. Louis that seemed to greatly influence the writings of Kate.

At maturity, at the age 18 Kate married Oscar Chopin who was considered loquacious by most accounts and amicable to all. After a torrential (The Storm?) rainstorm destroyed the local cotton industry in New Orleans where our young Oscar was a successful broker, the couple moved and opened up a general store when shortly after, Oscar died. Kate was distraught and was told by a physician that she should take up writing to get her out of the depression that she was in. The good Dr. certainly had the right cure. Kate became, free much like our Mrs. Mallard, and began to write.

We see that our Kate was somewhat in a transition of finding herself after her husband's demise. Was she talking about herself in `The story of an Hour'?

It is rather ironic that she writes that her husband's death in Mrs. Mallard's case gives a sense of new found freedom and that the path that led to a `freedom for Kate' led Kate to write about a certain type of freedom for Mrs. Mallard. In a sense this seems a genesis of what is the path of a woman pursuing feminism without knowing what it is. We can see this when Mrs. Mallard is alone and looking out the window in her room and the text speaks to us.

"There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it?" Was that something that was coming for Mrs. Mallard something that all or most...

... middle of paper ...

... story are just a vehicle that makes the process that turns the feelings of these women into actions whether they were intellectual actions or a physical action such as those taken by Mrs. Mallard and Calixta respectively. When we think realistically we can see that both Mrs. Mallard and Calixta both love their husbands. Mrs. Mallard nearly fainted after hearing the news of her husband premature demise, and Calixta certainly did welcome and was quite pleased with the safe return of her husband and child bearing the shrimps after the storm. These women were thinking and feeling like individuals. One was acting it out as in Calixta's case and our Mrs. Mallard was starting to think about it. It is people like these two, that are hidden in the throngs of humanity to start a ripple in the water and it is the Kate Chopin's that write about these ripples that make the waves.

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