Kate Chopin’s Repression of Women and Marriage

Kate Chopin, The Awakening (Chopin novel), Desiree's Baby

Abandoned by friends due to her supposed ‘immoral’ works, Kate Chopin was a mind ahead of her time. Stuck in the strict 1800s, her expressions of loathing marriage and sexual freedom in the lives of women were less than ideal to their modern culture (Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” 2241-2243). Her writings often consisted of marriage being below dreams of music and art, and even love not being able to hold a marriage together (Davis 62). The reality of these ideas compromised Chopin’s short stories and novels; the feeling of repression of women and the crushing restraint of marriage (Anderson et al. 480) Born as Katherine O’Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri, she was daughter to an Irish father and French mother who often encouraged her education in music and reading. Her grandmother also taught her the French language as a child. These different ideas exposed to her are what would set up her individual mindset later in life. Despite her themes of writing, she was married to a man named Oscar Chopin when she was nineteen. She later had six children and did not start writing until after her husband’s death. Her writings had made her disliked by society, who considered it immoral to most people (Anderson et al. 480). However, Chopin saw society in return as degrading to women, who were unable to work and live for themselves because of the “male-dominated” world they lived in (Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” 2242). With Chopin’s last years, her writings became more “somber” and were not well received. Chopin became depressed and her failing health was hard for her to deal with. On August 20th, 1904, Chopin died of a stroke, possibly due to a hereditary form of circulatory trouble (Wolff 225). Chopin’s theme is unique in the sense that they were written during a time of women’s inferiority, especially since most of her main characters attitudes towards marriage is as much against society’s morals as they themselves are. These characters would often choose things like...
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