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University Degree: Kate Chopin
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Pre 1900 short stories Desiree's baby' and 'the necklace' are both pre-1900 Short stories with a twist.
Madame Loisel lives in gentle poverty with her civil servant husband, dreaming of a better life. She and her husband go to a ball and so she borrows a magnificent necklace from a wealthy friend, on arriving home that night after the ball she finds that she has misplaced the necklace she borrowed from her wealthy friend and can not be found anywhere. They have to use all their savings to buy a replica of the necklace she lost, after 10 years of agonizing struggling she feels she must tell her friend the truth about the necklace she has been paying off for the last 10 years and only to discover that the precious jewels she worn and lost hat night were merely just imitations.
- Word count: 721
Visionary Characters in late 19th Century American Literature: Henry Jamess Daisy Miller & Edna Pointellier of Kate Chopins The Awakening
Cities were developing rapidly as was the new American culture. The close of the Civil War in 1865 affected various elements of American society: conflicts such as the ethical need to abolish slavery and giving black people the right to be full citizens were undoubtedly a sore subject and eventually spawned the Women's suffrage movement; psychoanalytical studies and psychosexual theories, such as those of Sigmund Freud, were introduced the role of sexuality in personality formation; and entwined with all of this, there was a new capitalist market society spawned by the Industrial Revolution, which granted opportunities of social and economic climbing for the least likely people - quite a tumultuous time of role-changing, who could blame a woman for examining her position and striving to rise above it?
- Word count: 1538
Discuss the ways in which women novelists or poets challenge the “natural” roles of women.
'The ideal of womanhood had four essential parts, - four characteristics any good and proper woman should cultivate: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness�. (The Cult) The actual reasons and explanations of the four essential parts were quite a lengthy read but the general synopses of them are as follows, Piety The modern young woman was considered a new Eve, working with God to bring about a world without sin, through her suffering pure and passionless love. Religion was a good cure for the restless mind and could be undertaken in a woman�s rightful place, the home.
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The purity of a family had to be kept and it did not accommodate marriages of mixed races. Knowing this, Armand marries Desiree, an old friend that he has known since the age of eight. She was a girl of no distinction, who had no history or reputation of family name, like that of Armand. Despite this, he fell in love "as if struck by a pistol shot" (1). Others had warned Armand against marrying her, but he did not care for he was so swept away by her beauty. "He was reminded that she was nameless. What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana?" (2).
- Word count: 1301
The train is transporting Jack Potter and his new bride back to Yellow Sky. By choosing to marry a woman from the east and without his town's consent, Potter's role in the affairs of Yellow Sky has been affected. During his ride by train back home, Potter is beginning to realize the repercussions that his arrival will have on the town. Symbolizing the east moving toward the west, the train car is imposing itself on the west. Another form of symbolism that Crane utilizes is through nature. Throughout the story he uses nature to symbolize a variety of things.
- Word count: 1509
Her husband travels without her and by leaving her behind; she finds no excuse to leave the house. Overtime the daily drudge of a domesticated life makes her feel imprisoned within the house. Mrs. Mallard, although young, has lost her identity because she sees her life through her husband. She becomes Mrs. Mallard and loses Louise. After learning of her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard is grief stricken and rejuvenated at the same time. The reader learns that Mrs. Mallard suffers from "heart trouble" and therefore "great care" is taken when telling her the news of her husband's death (Chopin, 181).
- Word count: 1149
The character, Brantain, is a rich man but he is very unattractive. " Brantain sat in one of these shadows; it had overtaken him and he did not mind. The obscurity lent him courage to keep his eyes fastened as ardently." This is how Brantain was first introduced to the reader. Chopin, the writer, contradicted him with darkness. She revealed that Brantain belonged to darkness, she mentioned that Brantain was not as simply as he appeared. Chopin implied that Brantain was dangerous and deceitful character which people were not award of. The writer used irony to show that Brantain is not innocent in the story.
- Word count: 1085
Comparing Louise of The Story of an Hour and Mrs. Sommers in A Pair of Silk Stockings, Louis ( Mrs. Mallard) who is the main character is a woman who has been controlled and conformed to the norms of society. Louise Mallard has apparently given her entire life to assuring her husband's happiness while forfeiting her own. This also apply in "A Pair of Silk Stockings" where in this story, Mrs. Sommers has also given her life to her family who has very little concern for her feelings and had financial problems.
- Word count: 1332
Torvald's job as a banker leaves him many responsibilities. "Though the basis for Nora and Torvald's relationship appeared to be centered around love the needed balance was not obtained"(Safford). Torvald never gave his relationship a chance by the way he treated his wife he supposedly loved. He often treats his wife as one of these responsibilities as well. Torvald's main priority is to his job and reputation, and cares less about his wife's feelings. Torvald's job priority being over his wife's feelings is apparent when he says, "If the rumor got about that the new manager had allowed his wife to persuade him to change his mind-"(Ibsen 429).
- Word count: 1496
To what extent do you consider the protagonists in 'Story of an Hour', 'The Kiss' and 'The Unexpected' to be courageous or heroic?
It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing." This is a very powerful way to start the story, and in the first two lines you can not help feeling sorry for her. I am very surprised that the shock and pain would have not taken her away so quickly at the beginning. She seems to be a very strong woman and I guess that she had endured a lot more than that in her life, she gives me the sense of a grandmother; as she seems very strong emotionally.
- Word count: 1798
"The man she loved and promised to marry." She has changed her mind because Randall returns to her looking disfigured. "Hideous transformation.... skin waxy and hectic...clothing hung loosely." How Chopin writes this shows that Dorothea was very much in love with Randall's face, his looks, maybe not his personality as we have nothing yet that proves this. I think that Dorothea was very disappointed and had missed him and she wanted to see him very badly. Although he was not fully recovered yet she should have waited a bit longer.
- Word count: 1965
Brilliant novel, The Awakening, written by Kate Chopin, takes place in a society where women are locked in a society with no freedom and independence. In this realistic piece of literature, Edna, a mother
Allez vous-en! Sapristi!"(9) Which translates to "Go away! Go away! For God's sake! This parrot symbolizes Edna and her determination to break away the social restrains of women in the Victorian era. Edna's husband, L�once, is always unsatisfied with Edna's treatment of their children. In addition, L�once does not regard his wife as a partner in marriage but as a possession. When he notices that she is sunburned from the beach, he looks at her "as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which has suffered some damage" (11)
- Word count: 817
In the opening paragraphs Chopin creates this impression of mutual attraction between the couple of Dorothea and Randall by saying the "parting was bitter" stating that when they said goodbye it was hard for them. Already straight away we did not expect this and for there to be more the reader is shocked in the opening paragraph. By shocked I mean this because you do not really expect this from a Victorian couple. "Lingering kisses and sighs" Dorothea could not bare being apart.
- Word count: 884
the story unfold: "He was reckoned an old bachelor...he was long past forty...one of the wealthiest farmers thereabouts" Gaskell, however innocent her intentions may have been, still shows evidence of being influenced by her own opinions of dominant males at the time. Although Chopin and Gaskell attempt to give an overly biased view of men, their attitudes towards their wives suggests that the authors' views towards the males are not as justified as one might presume. In D�sir�e's Baby, Armand looks beyond the fact that D�sir�e has an obscure origin, and married her nevertheless: "Armand looked into her eyes and did not care."
- Word count: 1784
Mallard. She is afflicted with a heart problem, that may be real or a metaphor for her unhappy condition. Her sister and her husband's friend break the news of her husband's death to her as gently as possible. She cries a little at the death of her spouse but after sometime, she locks herself in her room and quickly finds joy and a sense of liberation in his death. When she emerges from her room, she goes downstairs to find her husband returning home and she ironically dies from shock and disappointment, rather than joy as diagnosed by the doctors.
- Word count: 1140
When it was first published, 'The Awakening' shocked contemporary critics - Explore Chopin's presentation of events in the society of the novella, which might have shocked the critics.
As would the way Edna treated her children, leaving them to be brought up by a quadroon, would have been a complete contrast to the other female constructs in the novella. If one of her boys fell, he was not apt to rush crying to his mother's arms for comfort; he would more likely pick himself up, wipe the water out of his eyes and the sand out of his mouth, and go on playing. Edna is not a typical Creole "mother-woman" who idolized her children (and)
- Word count: 2608
Examine the ways in which Chopin reveals and develops the impact of Edna's initial 'awakening' in the central section of the novel.
To begin with she enjoys playing the role of the perfect daughter but makes a gradual change. She refuses to go a family wedding, "She won't go to the marriage. She says marriage is one of the most lamentable spectacles on earth," this implies a definite change in Edna's attitude, either that, or it is only now that she is revealing what she really feels; or has just come to terms with how she feels. Moreover, this is one of the many ways Chopin develops the awakening of Edna's character. Another example of the difference in Edna's behaviour through interaction is with Leonce and the way in which Edna talks to him.
- Word count: 1490
Consider the way that Chopin presents men in her writing. Is she consistent in her depiction of them?
Here Chopin is merely presenting L�once's attitude, she is not condemning it in any way. However, she then goes on to say "after he had bought a painting, or statuette he placed it among his household gods", so although Chopin is not passing any judgement she is witty conveying L�once as a shallow and extremely proud man, through subtle choices of language. In addition, one of the first descriptions of L�once, gives the reader an idea of the sort of man he is, "His hair was brown and straight, parted on one side. His beard was neatly and closely trimmed."
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When I first began reading 'The Story of an Hour,' Mrs. Mallard seemed to me an old woman and as we are told in the very first line, 'afflicted with a heart trouble.' when the writer tells us that 'She was young,' it was surprisingly exciting that she is described as having 'a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression' which describe her as being old for her age. The description of this repression is backed up when she gives us the reason for Mrs.
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Desiree's father loves her, and therefore reminds Armand that they do not know of her past. He does this, as he is afraid of future troubles that may be caused by this for his daughter as they live in a society where titles are of a high importance, and if she were to be of mixed race, Armand may reject her. This is an ominous sign within the book, foreshadowing the pain that Desiree suffers. The manner, in which Armand's love for Desiree is perceived, is an indication of the pain that he will cause for her.
- Word count: 2939
How do people react when involved in unhappy marriages? In the stories "The Legacy" and "Story of an Hour", two women are involved in unhappy marriage's.
She quotes in her diary "How i wish, Gilbert had a son."(126), but Gilbert had never regretted that. After a while, Angela wanted to have a work of her own because her husband's busy schedule often left her home alone. Angela went to a committee where she met new people. In her diary, she often mentions the initials B.M which is a man she had met in the committee. She described many adventures they had together and she looked like she was enjoying herself. She even invited B.M. secretly to her house for a supper when her husband was out of town.
- Word count: 943
Pre nineteenth century short stories - Compare `The Woman's Rose', `The Story of an Hour' and `The Necklace'.
"At the hotel men had made a bet as to which was prettier". On the other hand the woman in the story believes that love is faked and that friendship is a much greater gift to possess. "I cared about what she felt towards me". In the story "The Story of an Hour" love and romance is shown to be suffocating and restricting. In this story the need for a man is shown on a much larger scale. Once Brently Mallard is presumed dead his house and his money and his social identity all becomes hers.
- Word count: 844
Thus we know from the very beginning of the story that nothing is known of Desiree's origins. Kate Chopin, the American nineteenth century writer, has a very distinctive voice, and a clear attitude to events and characters. She depicts Madam Valmonde as a person who perhaps doesn't really want to know the truth, as in the third paragraph she "Abandoned every speculation" about the origin of Desiree, and again when she sees the skin colour of the child, but says nothing.. You get the immediate impression from the writer of pity for this sad woman. Desiree grew up and married a nearby plantation owner's son.
- Word count: 1102
She returned with her children to St Louis and began writing 'sketches' of her life on the Cane River, partly to provide for her large family and partly to come to terms with her grief. These documentary sketches were published in local periodicals and were well received. Her doctor, Frederick Kolbenheyer, encouraged her to become a career writer, and, since he was an atheist, to abandon her Catholic faith. Kate Chopin's 'second life' had begun. During the 1890s, she published almost a hundred short stories, two novels, volumes of poetry, essays and reviews.
- Word count: 2638
Discuss the attitudes to marriage and women in pre 1900 prose - Do this with reference to at least 3 stories you have read.
This is clearly demonstrated by the literature produced in this period. An example of this is Charlotte Perkin Gilman's, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. It is about a woman who is forced to move to a summer house and is confined to a bedroom that is plastered with yellow wallpaper and has a fixed-down bed and metal bars at the window. She is bedroom bound, not allowed to go anywhere on her own. Her husband, John and Jennie her Nurse, moved her to the summer house because she is ill and Jennie and John are there to provent her from doing anything and to help her get better, but with John's over- obsessiveness and care for her.
- Word count: 864