Was Kate Chopin a Sexist?
Kate Chopin as a women and writer was very ahead of her time. When women were supposed to be quiet and obey their husbands, Chopin had the guts to speak her mind through the characters in many of her short stories and novels. An example "The story of an Hour".
The Story of an hour pulls the reader into the mind of a woman realizing her spirit and potential and she can now be what she wants to be- free and independent from her husband. The story is about a women finding out of her husbands death in a train crash. She at first is saddened and then is joyous when she realizes she is now free and may do as she wishes. But at the end her husbands returns, the accounts of his death were not accurate and he returns home to his wife. She dies seeing him immediately after seeing him alive.
Her father at age 50 died in similar circumstances as in the "The Story of an Hour". He too dies in a train crash leaving her mother at age 27 a widow. Her mother married him at the tender age of 16 when one is just finding themselves. She was also a mother at the same time of her marriage because her husband had a son from the previous spouse. A life turning event for her mother, her responsibilities and freedom changed dramatically. Upon her husbands death she was saddened. But she enjoyed her freedoms and never remarried.
Her Grandmother and Great-Grand mother were also widowed at a young age and never remarried. The lack of male figures in Kate Chopin's early life left Kate with little male influence. The authoritative figures around her were very strong and independent women.
Her life experiences and the stories she wrote including; "Ripe Figs" (a story of a strong women and daughter and no mentions of a man in their lives) and "Desiree's Baby" (a white women with no past is blamed for her son's negro characteristics, but its not her past that is responsible it is of her well to do, upper-class husband). And how about the Awakening a story...
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