Pair of Silk Stockings Realism

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  • Topic: Mind
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  • Published : December 7, 2011
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Akiva Somer
11/9/11
English 9/10 H
Imagine living in opulence for your entire childhood, and then living in poverty for the rest of your life. It would be unthinkably strange, and you would not know how to maintain a balanced life. The short story “A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin tells of a widow named Mrs. Summers who has lived very comfortably as a child but in poverty as she grew up. This is an example of realism. This story displays two types of realism: social realism and psychological realism.

Social realism is displayed throughout the entire story. Social realism has to do with society’s problems and the individual’s life struggles, such as economic difficulties. Mrs. Summers’ life is a perfect example of this: she grows up wealthy, but as an adult, she is poor and widowed. It is human nature to desire money and if someone were poor and suddenly got money, they would want to spend it. When Mrs. Summers finds fifteen dollars, she remembers her childhood and just wants to live one day like she did as she was growing up. She decides to go on a shopping spree like any normal person would if they were in the same predicament as her. Right after Mrs. Summers finds the money, Chopin writes, “She did not wish to act hastily, to do anything she might afterward regret.” This quote explains modern day poverty. For someone who is poor, it is very hard to manage the small amount of money that they have. Usually, the way in which people become bankrupt is by recklessly spending their money. This quote shows the thought that she put into spending the money she got. The problem that Mrs. Summers suffers is a typical modern day issue.

Another type of realism that is displayed in this story is psychological realism. Psychological realism is realism that is displayed through the mind of protagonist of the story. In this case, the protagonist is Mrs. Summers. This story is omniscient. For example, in the beginning of the story, Chopin writes everything...
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