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Kate Chopin's Life Experiences Influence Literary Work

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Kate Chopin's Life Experiences Influence Literary Work
Julianna Chapman
Ms. Mary Graham
ENG 102 DC3
Novemeber 2nd, 2016
Chopin’s Life Experiences Influence Literary Work
Kate Chopin’s conventional patriarchal 19th century family was shattered on November 1st, 1855 when her father is killed in a train accident. Kate Chopin was then raised in a matriarchal Louisiana family. Her mother and grandmother raised Chopin after her father’s death. Being raised by women who had been independent throughout their lives planted a seed for Chopin. The root of feminism in her literary work can easily be seen. Kate Chopin’s life experiences have affected her literary work by being raised by mostly women, her father’s death, her mother’s newfound independence and the uprise of feminism in the 19th century.
Kate
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In “The Story of an Hour” Mrs. Mallard finds out about her husband’s death and finally sees what her life would be like as a free woman. Kate’s own father is killed in a train accident just like how Mr. Mallard is killed in “The Story of an Hour”. The whole relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Mallard is something Kate saw in her own home. Once Kate’s father died her mother has a new found independence. Her mother’s independence started with taking Kate out of Sacred Heart academy and she returned home and lived with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all of which where widowers. “Her maternal great-grandmother, Victoire Verdon Charleville, begins to home school Kate and has a major and lively impact on the girl’s intellectual development. At this time, Kate begins developing a strong interest in music—an interest that will last her whole life”(Chronology of Kate Chopin’s Life 276). Growing up all Kate had around her was independent women, she knew no different. In “The Story of an Hour” she writes about how Mrs. Mallard was just beginning to enjoy her life before she abruptly dies. Mrs. Mallard had begun to realize what life without her husband by her side looked like and she liked it. It gave her newfound independence and she was free of a marriage she wasn’t happy in. In an article titled, “Speed That Kills: The Role of Technology in Kate Chopin’s …show more content…
Kate was a pioneer in the literary world for writing about controversial topics. In an article written by Sharon M. Harris, she writes, “Several of the published stories address the theme of women’s lack of personal fulfillment under society’s restrictive rules, and they present women characters who, like the author, were beginning to challenge such traditions. Chopin soon gained a reputation as a gifted author of short stories”(Harris). Chopin became known for addressing controversial issues. She was not afraid to write about what others would not. You can see that directly in “The Story of an Hour”, when Mrs. Mallard dies of a joy that kills, and that joy steaming from her husband’s death. Kate questioned a lot of things in life. In a biography written by Michele Jones it’s said, “Her stories and sketches from this early period show that she questioned traditional romance”(Jones). Chopin wrote about her own life and the lives of those around her. Her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all widowers, women who had to learn to live without their husband’s. Kate outlived her husband as well and had to become and independent

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