Analysis of "Regret" by Kate Chopin

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When It Is too Late

"European and American women in the nineteenth century lived in an age characterized by gender inequality" (Bomarito and Hunter, pars. 1). Women's role in a society was limited to be wives and mothers. But as time went on, things began to change. Women started to have the right of higher education and working (Bomarito and Hunter, pars. 5). They became more independent in their lives without the need of men to support. But the question is that was this change good for women or not? The American author Kate Chopin gave an example of those independent women in her short story "Regret". In the story, a woman called Mamzelle Aurelie lived alone in her farm. She has never got married and never had children. But one day the silence in Aurelie's life was broken as she carried the burden of looking after her neighbor's four children for two weeks. One might ask how could she manage to take care of these children since she never had one? In the story Chopin describes the difficulties Aurelie faced and how she finally managed to deal with the children, also how she felt after the children left her alone. In "Regret", Chopin uses this description to explore the change in Mamzelle Aurelie's character before and after the arrival of the children and her regret at the past.

At the beginning of the story, Chopin describes Mamzelle Aurelie in masculine terms. She was unmarried and never thought of getting married. She was a middle-aged woman with a rugged appearance. "She wore a man's hat about the farm, and an old blue army overcoat when it was cold, and sometimes topboots" (Chopin 1). She was strong and capable in her every day life. She had a "determined eye" (Chopin 1), and she lived quite alone except for her dog Panto. She even ran her own farm and supervised her workers. That shows how independent and hardened woman she was. All this description appeared in Aurelie's character before the arrival of her neighbor's children....
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