Adrianna Edwards February 11, 2013 American Literature, hour 6 Mr. Mulligan Is there anything in your life that you just want so badly but you can’t have? It’s always out of grasp? In Kate Chopin’s stories, examples of this can be seen. The woman in her stories and her era of time wished to be free and independent from the men and the influences of society. It almost seems that she is defying the conventional role of women of that era in society with her stories. In three of her stories, The Kiss, The Story of an Hour, and A Pair of Silk Stockings, it shows the women struggle with the men in their lives and societies expectations on women.
In Kate Chopin’s story The Kiss, a girl named Nathalie has two suitors, Brantain and Harvey. Choosing between them is difficult because Brantain is very wealthy, but she loves Harvey. She had to choose between one or the other because she could not have both. Then at her and Brantain’s wedding, Harvey comes up to her and says, “Your husband, has sent me over to kiss you. ” This shows that Brantain in a way has control over Nathalie and can just send people over to kiss her. However Harvey also says to her, “I’ve stopped kissing women; it’s dangerous. This shows that even though Nathalie thought she got exactly what she wanted, both men and the love and money, she in fact did not. Another story by Kate Chopin is The Story of an Hour which shows a woman named Louise finding out about the death of her husband and then sitting in her room acknowledging it. She knows that she will mourn her husband’s death of course, but she also sees his death as a good thing. She loved her husband but she also welcomes her new independence and so when she is alone in her room she thinks to herself about what the future will hold with her freedom and she says, “Free!
Body and soul free! ” When she finally leaves her room she starts to head down the stairs and she sees who else but her dead husband! By the time the doctors arrive, Louise has died from “heart disease,” purportedly from “the joy that kills. ” She was so close to being free and then she dies. In the story A Pair of Silk Stockings, it shows how women were supposed to be exceptional mothers and be happing being so. However when the woman of the story, Mrs. Sommers comes across fifteen dollars, and even though she planned on using it towards her children, she ends up spending the money on herself.
It says “she seemed to see her way cleary toward a proper and judicious use of the money” that she had found which she was about to spend on her kids but while she was out shopping she let “her hand lay upon a pile of silk stockings”, and after this she decided that the money would be spent on herself. This story shows her putting herself before her children and family for the day which to the society was not something that happened or should happen very often. The stories show the woman and how they went against society and the men in their lives.
Nathalie went against society because she used her knowledge to get what she wanted, which was the money and even though she also wanted love, money was her main desire. Louise went against society when she declared independence for herself after the death for her husband. Mrs. Sommers went against society by using the money to treat herself and not put the needs of her children before hers. All these women in Kate Chopin’s storied defied the views of society and the men in their lives. Kate Chopin herself even defied the views of society by writing these stoies.