I personally think many authors use their own experiences to influence their work. Some do it to fight for something they truly believe in. Writers can get their inspirations from their own traumatic experiences. Kate Chopin has been a successful writer of short stories during her lifetime. During Chopin’s life and the many traumas she suffered, she gave women a great sense of respect and power.
Kate Chopin lived a traditional life as a housewife until the death of her husband, which changed her life significantly. I believe that the losses of Chopin only made her stronger. Many women were not trained to survive without their husbands, but Chopin was different. In her short stories, Kate Chopin uses variety of themes in her short stories. In the Awakening, she focuses on a women’s search for her power in her society. In Desiree’s Baby Chopin shows how racism during the period of slavery lives in the south. The theme in The Storm relates to feminism and self-discovery of a woman. In Chopin’s The Awakening the main character experiences an awakening. Edna is married and seems happy with her life.
However, she cannot find true happiness. Women in the 19th century were under the control of their husband. Her society believed that a married woman needed to make both her husband’s and children’s needs their many priority. Edna’s awakening begins when a man named Roberto begins talking to her. Edna begins to respond to him with a feeling she has never felt before. This is when she begins to realize that there is more to life than a mother and a wife. Enda remains married, because divorce is unheard of. “Dramatic changes have occurred in the American family during the 20th century.
The spread of premarital sexuality, the growing popularity of cohabi-tation, the increase in nonmarital fertility, and the movement of wives and mothers into the paid labor force have affected the most fundamental details of our lives in extraordinary ways. But of all the changes in family life, perhaps the most far-reaching in its implications has been the increase in the rate of divorce. Indeed, the shift from a modal pattern of lifelong marriage to serial marriage punctuated by divorce represents a fundamental change in how most people meet their needs for intimacy over the life course. This shift has also had major implications for the family settings in which children are nurtured and socialized”(161). In today’s world divorce, sadly is so common. It destroys families without the two people thinking twice of the consequences. Chopin’s focuses on a women’s search for her power in her society. Women were expected to be married in the 19th century, and that would lead to love and a happy ever after. Despite this, they didn’t always love who they married, but they stood by because it was frightened to break the marriage commitment during this time.
In Kate Chopin’s The Storm shows that the main character Calitxa’s married life is unhappy. Personally, I have witnessed marriages fall apart just for the lack of desires for each other. There are two people in a marriage and it is important for every person to feel loved, special and to receive his or her desires. Without these attentions, it is easy for the people to have sexual affairs with others that do give them those desires. Lack of sexual desires is major reason why marriages fall inot affairs. “This was the most common reason cited by individuals in the Omarzu study. Recall that the large majority of the sample were women. Both women and men who enter into affairs are hoping to improve their sex lives. They may enjoy many other mutual activities but, for whatever reason, the sex is not working out for them.”
The Storm relates to feminism and self-discovery of a woman in her marriage. Desiree’s Baby was set just before the American Civil War in the early 19th century. Slavery was legal in that era and people with traces of African appearances were treated horribly. Chopin shows how an individual’s simple color can change everyone’s view of an individual. Armand thought Desiree was beautiful and did not think about her unknown past. This is proven in the story when it states, “What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Lousiana” (Chopin 155). After the baby, Armand was willing to hurt the woman he once loved, because she could be different. Armand did not see his love for Desiree anymore, but rather the color of her skin. This makes it clear that race is so harmful. When it comes to race, we believe that everybody is different.
However, race is only a skin color. If people do not create racist views, everyone would be treated exactly the same. “Along these lines, skin tone can play a significant role in shaping racial attitudes. Skin tone effects on attitudes and behavior have two potential sources:
- Individuals develop attitudes toward themselves and others based on their self-perception of their skin tone;
- Individuals develop attitudes toward themselves and others based on their perceptions of the skin color of others.
We provide here a brief review of some of the major works in the fields of sociology, psychology, and political science regarding skin tone as it relates to racial identity, race relations, and racial attitudes.”
In Conclusion, despite being a 19th century woman, Kate Chopin’s works demonstrate the value of young, beautiful, intelligent women who seek for freedom and independence. The Awakening, The Storm, and Desiree’s Baby are three of her many short stories that show women who live miserably in their marriage.