Kate Chopin Gives A Woman’s 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 of controversy. All literature focused around a male main character as well. Most stories being written at the time were about male characters and their stories, not the women. Kate Chopin changed that. Kate Chopin was born Katherine O’Flaherty.
She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1851. Her father was an Irish immigrant and her mother was of French descent. They introduced Kate to music and writing at an early age. (Elements of Literature 481) At nineteen she married Oscar Chopin, who was a French Creole from New Orleans. They had six children together.
After her husband’s sudden death IN???, she moved back to ST. Louis and began to write. In 1890 she published her first novel. Her stories concerned the life of French Creole in Louisiana and were praised for their accurate portrayal of the French. Her themes are a much more controversial matter: it was the repression of women in Victorian America. This theme was presented in her famous novel The Awakening. (Robinson 15) The Awakening Kate Chopin’s most well known piece of work is The Awakening.
This is her first full novel she wrote. It’s an extraordinary piece of work about a Creole woman who is not a good example of the conventional mother in that society. 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 stockings. Kate Chopin often writes about a womans responsibilities to her family, her community, and herself and the need to be independent. (Robinson 19) Kate Chopin also wrote another story called The Storm. This story was about infidelity during a thunderstorm.
This piece of work was condemned because of it’s sexual openness. She was just writing what really went on in life, but no one wanted to admit it. She was writing what she felt, and she wanted to give a woman’s voice to realism. The Critics and Critism After she published her novel The Awakening, many people banned it and refused to read it. It was dismissed as gilded dirt. (234) The were shocked and appalled by what Kate Chopin had written.
They didn’t think that a woman should be talking and writing about such things. (Wilson 184) She was also given bad reviews for some of her other short stories. The critics would have liked her if she wasn’t so open about these kind of topics. Her short story The Storm was given some of the same reviews as her famous novel The Awakening. The Storm, however, didn’t cause quite such a stir like The Awakening. Through all of the criticism, she gained a lot of fame.
The reviews also helped to sell more copies of The Awakening. Conclusion Kate Chopin attempted to give a woman’s voice to realism. She also sacrificed her career while doing this. She was harshly criticized by the critics and readers, both male and female. Her novel The Awakening gave a woman’s voice to the public, and let people know what women were thinking concerning marriage, responsibility, and infidelity.
She overcame boundaries and was the first woman writer to do these things. She accomplished her goals, and made a major impact on writing. Kate Chopin influenced many other women writers today. She was a pioneer of her own time, in her portrayal of women’s desires of independence and control of their own sexuality. (Toth 481) English Essays.