Professor Tammie Peterson
WRIT 101. LC 29
14 December 2012
Symbol of Nature in Kate Chopin’s Stories
Kate Chopin is known globally for strong and independent female characters in the majority of her stories. Although most of her stories usually end in some form of tragedy, Chopin still gives her female protagonists moments of enlightenment and a will to preserver. In her three stories “Lilacs”, “The Unexpected”, and “The Story of an Hour”, the characters all long for freedom, and it is their experience with nature that initially gives them that taste of what it is like to be free. Freedom is theme seen throughout these three stories and is visually communicated through natural imagery. It is the acute combination of the theme of freedom and natural imagery that submerges you, the reader into a world of Chopin’s creation. Imagine that you are alone in the middle of a forest. The wind is blowing through your hair and the faint, refreshing smell of pine is permeating throughout your nose. You can hear the birds chirping and the water flowing in a nearby river. No one is around to ask you questions or demand that you do anything for anyone. You’re in a state of pure bliss and all of the issues in your life seem to be fading away. Though, it may seem silly to put yourself in such a situation, it is necessary to put yourself in their position and imagine the state of ecstasy each character went through in nature to get through their own personal issues. In Kate Chopin’s short story “The Unexpected”, nature is brought into the text to emphasize Dorothea’s feeling of freedom after she left her lover, Randall. Kate Chopin intertwines Dorothea’s heart thumping with the aspects of nature to say how she is now one with the forest. Chopin characterizes the elements of the “fallow field” by describing the “Pulses beating in unison with its sensuous throb” (Chopin 322). She writes that “the drone of the insects” and the “woody smell of summer”...