Regret by Kate Chopin

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Regret by Kate Chopin

In the short story "Regret" by Kate Chopin a woman called Mamzelle Aurélie has to keep a neighbour's four children for two weeks. Mamzelle Aurélie is an old and lonely woman. She has never had a man and lives alone on her farm with some animals and Negroes working for her. Because of a dangerous illness of her mother, the young neighbour has to leave and couldn't take care of her children anymore. This is why Mamzelle Aurélie, who has never ever has children before, has to keep them. At the beginning she has great problems with managing those children. But after she a short period of time she starts realizing that humans need more than just food and a place to sleep at. She really starts to develop a relationship to the children. Now as the two weeks are over and the children go back to her mother she becomes very sad and starts crying.

In general you can say that the author is using a very descriptive language. By contrast the language used in the dialogues is probably some kind of old slang. But still you see that at the end the relation between Mamzelle Aurélie and the children and the language used by the author develop analogue. The relation gets very deep, while the language changes from an objective and dry language to a nearly poetic style of writing. Proof of this can be found in the text, for example the slimily of one the children's "warm breath beating against her cheek like the fanning of a bird's wing". This has the effect that you really start identifying with the old woman and feel her emotions.

The setting of the story is not really clear. The story plays on a farm in America. Bearing in mind that all people involved into the story have French names you can guess that the action takes place in a French colony.

There isn't mentioned any certain time in the text, but because it plays in a French colony in America, given by the fact that the woman has several slaves and the way the people in the story talk it's...
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