Kate Chopin's Life and Work

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Kate Chopin wrote for a reason and with a sense of passion and desire. She lived the way she wanted to and wrote what she felt, thought, and wanted to say. Kate wrote for many years and her popularity was extreme until critical disapproval of her novel, The Awakening, a story that portrayed women’s desires of independence and control of their own sexuality. Most men condemned this story, while women applauded her for it. Kate wrote with a sense of realism and naturalism and she created a voice that is unique and unmatched. The voice gave a view of the female role in society and contributed to the beginning of the later feminist movements. In 1915, Fred Lewis Pattee wrote, "some of Chopin's work is equal to the best that has been produced in France or even in America. She displayed what may be described as a native aptitude for narration amounting almost to genius" (qtd. in Amazon.com “About the Author”). Kate Chopin was a 19th century American author who cared about women and their rights. She was a bold writer who had a huge impact on how the world should treat women.

On February 8, 1851, Katherine O’Flaherty was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Kate was born to the parents of Thomas O’Flaherty and Eliza Faris. Her father was a wealthy Irish immigrant and a successful businessman. Sadly, Kate’s father died in a railway accident when she was only four years old. Kate’s childhood was influenced mostly by her mother and great-grandmother. Kate spent much time with her family’s Creole and mulatto slaves, becoming familiar with their dialects. She attended Sacred Heart convent where she was a very poor student, but an avid reader. At the age of eleven Kate’s great-grandmother as well as her half-brother died. These two deaths caused Kate to seclude herself in the family attic to study more books (Authors and Artists par. 5). Kate’s schooling was irregular and she herself attributed her education more to her reading, than to the education she received at the Sacred...
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