English 12: Short Story Personal Response For The Locket, By Kate Chopin

1065 words - 5 pages

English 12: Short story personal response for The Locket, by Kate Chopin

In the lives of many people, certain items have held great importance in those lives due to their association with elements that has an significant, if not symbolic effect on their lives, such as association with past memories, events, or people. The locket presented in The Locket by Kate Chopin is one that binds the themes of love, loss, the chaos of war together throughout the entire story. I believe that the locket is symbolic the motif of love in part I, and loss in part II of the story separately, this is due to shift in focus of the characters from Edmond to Octavie in the story, and the relative situation and circumstance presented in each section. I believe the locket is symbolic of the motif of love in part I due to the significance that the locket is to Edmond. In part I, we see a flash back of Edmond to the day of departure, where Octavie gave him the locket, and here we see that the locket is explained to be of great importance to Octavie as it was her most precious earthly possession. The locket is important not for just it's monetary value, but the emotional attachment of its associated memories, as it was a miniature of her mother and father and the date of their marriage, an important date in the lives of many people in many culture, a culmination and climax of devotion and love. The effect of this gift was to demonstrate the depth of love Octavie had for Edmond, as Edmond in return understand the significance of the item for Octavie as shown in his flashback. This is further compounded by the significance the locket as a memorabilia of an important event, the marriage of Octavie's parents, as the item is to act as an remembrance for the union in holy matrimony, together until death does the couple apart. The locket again in the context of the story also now represent an important event of great emotion in the lives of Edmond and Octavie, which was their parting as Edmond heads off to war. This also gives the locket a significance similar to that of the contemporary engagement ring, as the engagement ring is a gift that is to represent symbolically the connection between two lovers, a promise of a hopeful future together. Thus the locket act as a bond for Edmond and Octavie to the world of the living, as Edmond tries his best to survive, and Octavie remains hopeful, and as both are pained by the separation of the parting as expressed in the flash back, and this separation is not just the physical separation, but also of the emotional as Edmond has gone off to war, a terrible deluge that has split families and consumed many lives. At the end of part I, in the ensuing chaotic battle and retreat, the locket is found to be on the body of a dead boy. It is here that I believe the theme of war plays on the motif of loss, as it is inferred that this...

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