Kate Chopin Essay

1604 WordsNov 13, 20117 Pages
Kate Chopin: An Advocate for Women’s Freedom Kate Chopin is an American writer of the late nineteenth century. Chopin is best known for her pieces with a strong female role. When Chopin was five years old her parents sent her to a boarding school to be taught by Nuns at Sacred Heart Academy in St. Louis, MO (Toth, “Unveiling Kate Chopin” 3). At an early age Chopin was exposed to independent women such as the Nuns at Sacred Heart and her Mother, who was a widow due to a train accident that took the life of her husband. However Kate O’Flaherty was being raised to become Kate Chopin loving Wife and Mother of six. In the nineteenth century, women rarely had a voice of their own. Their father or their husband spoke for them. They were to be seen and not heard. The ideas of a woman were often disregarded in the same manner as a child at this time in American society. Instead of subscribing to this type of ideology, she developed a very different set of ideas about what a woman’s role could be in society. In a time when it wasn’t a popular thought that a woman could have a life free from marriage, children, and domestic responsibility, Chopin was writing about it in her novels and short stories. Chopin wrote about a woman’s need to find her own way. In fact she wrote about many issues in regard to women’s rights that were restricted at that time. The woman’s right to choose whether to be married, the right to choose more than one sexual partner, and the right to choose to have children, all ideas that were shunned by society and made her somewhat of an unpopular figure. These ideas can be found in both her novella “The Awakening” and her short story “The Story of an Hour.” In both of these works the protagonist is a strong willed female who either dreams about, or attains freedom from the restrictions of society. In these two pieces Chopin advocates

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