Many poets and writers are famous from their works, because they often let their pieces reflect their lifestyles, the way they were raised and when, and through the difficult or memorable times of their lives. This can be accepted or completely rejected by the public critics. Criticism of Kate Chopin??™s work was engendered during her time period and to this present day. Her works were written in the late 1800s and often reflected the way she was raised and the situations that she had encountered in her life. She often wrote to keep her mind off the many difficulties she had faced throughout her life like the death of her husband and later, her mother. Two of her most prominent short stories were A Pair of Silk Stockings and The Story of an Hour. Unfortunately, Chopin wasn??™t recognized as one of the leading writers of her time until the years of her death.
Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis Missouri in the year 1850. During her adolescence, her father died, which led to her to relying on and having a very close relationship with her mother and grandmother. As a child, she involved herself with reading as her main hobby. She later married a man named Oscar in 1870 having six children with him all through being at a young age. They moved to Cloutierville in 1879 and managed a small general store and numerous plantations. Kate Chopin experienced many hardships in her life. Along with the death of her father at an early age, she also had her house burn down from a fire soon after moving from her hometown. She started becoming more involved within the community and focused on acquiring information for promising future writing material. Her husband then died in 1882, leaving her with a unmanageable amount of debt, property to take care of on her own, and a general store, along with the struggle of raising six children. Chopin was unsuccessful with keeping up with the burdens left behind, so she sold her business and moved back home to live with her mother in St. Louis. After settling and getting back on track, the following year brought upon another heartache; her mother passed away. Her doctor recommended that she resort to writing, as an escape from the state of depression that she was in at the time. Her writings accomplished such hopes at this time. Chopin found that this helped keep her mind off of previous mishaps in her life and also provided some income. Although she seemed to be successful by getting some of her pieces published, some of her writings were considered ???far too ahead of their time and therefore not socially embraced???. But, after years of being recognized by her works, she eventually was considered a insignificant author. Chopin continued pursuing her writing career in hopes to ???make it??? and keep away from the harsh reality of her life. Chopin was labeled as a local color writer, and was often criticized on her morals expressed within her pieces. Now, she is widely acclaimed for her quality and feminist views. She resorted to writing short stories after being discouraged, and later died at the age of fifty-four from a brain hemorrhage. During the years of her life, Chopin encountered many situations that reflected her writing. Being raised with all women brought feminist views into her pieces and many of her stories were influenced by her life in Louisiana, along with the situations of hardship that she had encountered during her lifetime.
In her piece The Story of an Hour, she writes of a woman named Mrs. Mallard that was in the state of suffering from the abrupt death of her husband; like what Chopin had encountered in her life in the year 1882 when her husband, Oscar Chopin, had passed away. Once informed of her husband??™s unexpected death, Mrs. Mallard slipped into a state of complete devastation. She sat alone in her room grieving and weeping for her loss and the feeling of loneliness in the world. As she gazed into the blue sky, a thought came to her that she fought off as long as she could, but she couldn??™t hold it back any longer. She finally felt free. The death of her husband was no longer looked upon as a devastation, but as a relief. Chopin used a line of narrative within this story stating, ???There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live to herself??? this showed that she was capable of living her life for herself now, that she was ???free, free, free??? and that she now had the right to hold her own perception on things in life. She led herself out of her locked room, and went downstairs with her sister. As they made it to the bottom of the stairs, the door began to open, and in walked her supposedly late husband. He wasn??™t aware of any sort of ???accident???, thus watching the shocked faces upon his friend??™s and sister??™s faces. The wife??™s expression was not stated by Chopin but was later explained in the last sentence, ???When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease–of the joy that kills.??? Mrs. Mallard died of the grief that was suddenly encountered. Chopin played with great irony in this short story. The story shows Mrs. Mallard learning to accept this depression and find that it will get better, and that the clear message was for women to not dread on the loneliness, but to realize that there are ways that their lives will improve, and that they will be able to move on from the loss. She expressed to be open to new things that could come about, and not to close one??™s self out of the world to be welcoming, and hopeful. This short story was published in 1894, appearing in a issue of Vogue magazine. Chopin??™s mission of the piece was to represent the strength that each and every women is capable of, especially during a time of morbid grief and a woman???s role in marriage. It was said that this story, among a handful of others, became famous overnight. Because of Chopin??™s feminist views and approaches, which was extremely influenced by being raised by all women, her piece, The Story of an Hour, became ???one of feminism??™s sacred texts.???
In Kate Chopin??™s short story, A Pair of Silk Stockings, she describes a woman named Mrs. Sommers who holds a unfamiliar, yet prized, amount of fifteen dollars. Mrs. Sommers lies and contemplates how she will go amount spending this money. She feels privileged to be in possession of this amount of money, and it makes her feel proud and powerful. She lays searching for ways to spend the money in the smartest way and how to clearly be responsible with this decision. The feeling of importance leads her mind to wondering. She plans in her head that she will buy new hats, shoes, and fabric for the children. She imagines how proper and equipped they will look in their new attire, leaving her feel proud and confident about how she will spend her sum of money. Mrs. Sommers dreams of better days, that may have happened before or instead of becoming Mrs. Sommers, but disregards these thoughts because she had ???no second of time to devote to the past.??? Chopin shows how Mrs. Sommers never does things for the good of herself, only for her family. Her views are always looking out for the children, and possibly her husband, yet Chopin does not clearly identify her husband. On the day that Mrs. Sommers ventures out to do her shopping she runs into different plans in which she intended. As she sat to regain energy from pure exhaustion, she comes across a pile of silk stockings. Admiring the set of pure luxury, she debated on whether to buy a pair for herself. Once finding that they were on sale, and Mrs. Sommers was born for bargains, she buys a beautiful pair of black silk stockings. She touches them and admires them as if they were a set of diamonds. As soon as she could, she sat down in a desolate corner to put these new stockings upon her feet. She sits there in complete lavishness; relaxed and free of guilt and any wondering thoughts, only complete satisfaction. She then wandered over to the shoe department. She indulged herself with a brand-new pair of pointed-tipped boots, and admired her foot and ankle as she ???turned her feet one way and her head another way???. She again purchased something for herself without guilt, and only complete satisfaction and fulfillment. She then treated herself to a fitted, new, beautiful glove, a couple of wanted magazines, a little fancy lunch, and a play. She felt beautiful and spoiled, along with accepted socially and felt like many of the others surrounding her. She felt as if she deserved to flaunt herself and spoil herself, for once in her life, not taking anyone else but herself into consideration. Chopin was much like this, she did everything for the good of everyone in life, but often overlooked her own well-being, and she evidently realized that enough to write about it reflecting in this short story. Chopin depicts a women??™s feminist view, again, like many of her other writings, and stands up for women, saying that it is okay to have their own wants and need fulfilled and that it is acceptable to escape reality and spoil oneself. A Pair of Silk Stockings was published in Vogue in the year 1897.
While researching Kate Chopin??™s childhood and life, and reading through a handful or her writings, I have realized how much her life is reflected within her writings. She obviously uses her writings as an escape from her own harsh reality, almost as if it is a diary, but using other characters as herself. I believe she gives excellent underlying advice to all women, and does a great job expressing feminist views. Although many people may be, or were, against her outlooks and morals within her writing, I really enjoy her pieces. I believe she gives power and advice to all women about how they do not have to depend on others and that they can be independent. Chopin was successful in getting her feminist views expressed, especially to the public. Chopin may be one of my top favorite writers after doing this research and writing, and I look forward to reading more of her famous pieces.