Kate Chopin Gives a Womans Voice to Realism
Kate Chopin succeeded in giving a woman's voice to realism. While doing this she sacrificed her career. This seems to be a "higher order of feminism than repeating the
story of a woman as victim...Kate Chopin gives her female protagonist the central role,
normally reserved for the man, in a meditation on identity and culture, consciousness, and art." (Robinson 3) "The role of woman in the society Chopin creates is of special interest and relevance. (Robinson 6)
Introduction to Kate Chopin
Before Kate Chopin came onto the writing scene, women had an insignificant role
in society. Women never did anything that would cause some sort ...view middle of the document...
Kate Chopin's popularity was evident until critical disapproval of this novel. (Allen 54)
The main character is Edna Pontiellier. A rather handsome woman. "Her face was
captivating by reason of a certain frankness of expression and a contradictory subtle play of features. Her manner was engaging." (Chopin 4) Unlike many other women characters of that time. Edna smoked, and often took walks along the beach, unescorted. That was something most women would never be caught doing. Kate Chopin created and
unforgettable character that other women writers of that time would seldom create or
write about.(Allen 23)
Edna Pontiellier is a happily married woman in the beginning of the novel. She is living in a rich New Orleans neighborhood. She is somewhat of an outcast because she
does unconventional things. Eventhough she is married and is supposed to be with her
husband, she is often seen with another young man. This character is Robert Leburn. The more time Edna spends with Robert, the more she becomes attached. Other characters in this novel openly speculate what is going on between these two.
As the novel continues, Edna begins "her awakening". She realizes that she is
falling in love with Robert. She also feels much stronger as an independent woman. As
the novel draws to a close, Edna and Robert confess their love for eachother. Later on,
Edna goes for a swim in the ocean, she goes out further than any other woman. While out
in the ocean, she realized that her awakening is complete and that she can never live in this society.
Kate Chopin received a great deal of criticism for this novel. Many women during this time were going through something like Edna's "awakening" to independence in this
novel. Numerous critics and readers banned this book and gave it bad reviews. A few
loved it. (Moers 10) The Awakening is the one novel that ruined her career, but it also is one of the great masterpieces ever written. "This novel is not a simulated case study, but an exploration of the solitary soul still enchanted but the primal charged, and intimate encounter of naked sensation with the astonishing world." (Robinson 20)
Kate Chopin's Short Stories
Kate Chopin has wrote many short stories. Most of these stories are about
women overcoming obstacles. The main characters are usually women. She wrote a short
story called "A Pair of Silk Stockings". This story was about a woman who has found a
suprise cache of money, and plans to buy clothes and necessities for her family. Instead she goes and buys a pair of silk...