The Awakening, the Story of an Hour, and Desiree's Baby

Topics: Kate Chopin, Short story, Marriage Pages: 8 (2934 words) Published: February 14, 2013
The Awakening, The Story of an Hour and Desiree’s Baby
By: Destiny Frye

The Awakening: The novel was titled “The Awakening,” because the main character Edna Pontellier goes through a series of liberations that cause her to “awaken” or become aware of her The Story of an Hour: The title refers to the actual duration of the story. All the events that take place in the story can happen in the time frame of an hour. Desiree’s Baby: The title refers to one of the main characters, Armand Aubigny, not claiming his child after finding out that the child as of different race; therefore giving all ownership of the baby to the mother, Desiree. Author & Purpose

Kate Chopin was born Katherine O’Flaherty on February 8, 1850, in St. Louis, Missouri to Thomas and Eliza O’Flaherty. Kate was one of five children and the only one to live past the age of twenty two. Her father was killed in a railroad accident when she was five years old. Kate didn’t grow up with many male role models or around many married couples; she was raised by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, vigorous widows that stressed learning, curiosity, and financial independence. Kate’s great-great-grandmother was the first woman to legally separate from her husband and continue on with a successful fulfilling life in the city of St. Louis.

Kate was formally educated at the Academy of Sacred Heart, catholic school in St. Louis. Two years after graduating Kate married Oscar Chopin, the son of a wealthy cotton planter from Louisiana. Kate gave birth to five boys and one girl all before the age of twenty-eight. When Oscar died in 1882 Kate took over her late husband’s plantation and store for over a year before selling it and moving back in with her mother. Kate began to write to support herself and her kids.

Her novel “The Awakening” was very controversial, and in the end it denied her admission into the St. Louis Fine Art Club. Chopin was very hurt by the reaction to the book, so for the remainder five years of her life she only wrote short stories. Kate Chopin died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of fifty-three.

The purpose of her novels and short stories were to entertain and call attention to the male dominance and woman submission during this timeframe, while expressing her beliefs on the strength of women. Setting

The Awakening: The beginning of the novel is set during the late 1800’s at a summer vacation resort in Grand Isle filled with New Orleans wealthy. The rest of the novel is set in New Orleans. Being set in the 1800’s is significant because they story wouldn’t make since if it was set in a time where divorce was possible, or independence was supported. The Story of an Hour: The short story is takes place inside the home of Louise Mallard. This is significant to the story because the setting reflects Ms. Mallard being trapped and/or caged in her life. Desiree’s Baby: The short is set in Louisiana before the civil war.

Most Memorable Characters & Motivations
Edna Pontellier: Edna is a respectable wife and mother and the protagonist of the novel. Her motivation was to break free of the confinement’s society while trying to find her identity. Louise Mallard: Louise is the fragile wife of the supposedly deceased Brently Mallard. Her husband is “dead.” Armand Aubigny: Armand is the father of the baby and Desiree’s husband. At the time of the novel society was still prejudice against blacks, so his motivation in the story is to protect his pride and his family’s name by casting away his wife and son because they are not fully white. Plot Summary

The Story of an Hour
In the exposition Kate Chopin tells us that Louise Mallard has a heart condition. This is why Josephine, her sister, has to gently tell her that her husband has died. The deceased Mr. Mallards friend, Richard, is there in home with them. He originally found out the news while being in the newspaper office when report of the train accident came...
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