Research Paper on Kate Chopin and the Feminism in Her Works

2066 words 9 pages
Licano 1
Maria Licano
Mrs. Hummel
Ap English 08
27 April 2012

Kate Chopin: Feminism in Her Works

“Love and passion, marriage and independence, freedom and restraint.” These are the themes that are represented and worked with throughout Kate Chopin’s works. Kate Chopin, who was born on February 8, 1851, in St. Louis, was an American acclaimed writer of short stories and novels. She was also a poet, essayist, and a memoirist. Chopin grew up around many women; intellectual women that is. Chopin said herself that she was neither a feminist nor a suffragist; she was simply a woman who took other women intensely seriously. Chopin believed women had the ability to be strong, individual, and free-spirited. She herself reached out, in
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“Like Edna, she paid the price for defying societal rules” (Wyatt). Other of Kate Chopin’s works that were criticized include; A No-Account Creole, Desiree’s Baby, and The story of an Hour. The critics/ scholars of today though, responded differently. Today, The Awakening, is “considered an important work in feminist literature” (Lombardi). “To be an artist includes much; one must possess many gifts - absolute gifts - which have not been acquired by one’s own effort” (Chopin).

The protagonists of Kate Chopin’s short stories and novels resemble the circumstances of her own personal life as well. In The Awakening, for example, Edna is a rebel; she learns to become an independent, strong, and sexually active woman; she is a true feminist in Chopin’s novel. Similarities between Edna and Chopin include; like Chopin, Edna was not born in New Orleans, but later on moved there when she married her husband; The Awakening starts off with Edna and her husband being in the Grand Isle for the summer (Chopin and her husband would go to the Grand Isle during the summer as well); both Edna and Chopin cheated on their husbands while in New Orleans, and they both lost a parent when they were little; Edna lost her mother, Chopin her father. (W, Zack). Questions such as, “Is The Awakening and its feminism use based on the true life events of Kate Chopin? , Is Chopin using Edna as a way to express her emotions?” arise when the similarities

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