Kate Chopin And Women's Rights Essay

688 words - 3 pages

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1850, Kate Chopin was an influential woman who endured many tragedies throughout her lifetime. She grew up in a bilingual and bicultural home of English and French, mostly raised by the widowed women in her family (Kate Chopin). Her father had died when she was five years old when his train crossed a collapsing bridge and all her siblings died in infancy or in their early twenties. From then till she was about sixteen years, her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother educated Chopin in French and music. She then reentered the Sacred Heart Academy and graduated top of her class (Wyatt). At age twenty, Chopin married Oscar Chopin and they moved down to New Orleans where they raised their seven children until Oscar died of malaria nearly twelve years after they were married. Chopin moved back to St. Louis with her children to live with her mother, until she died a year later, leaving Chopin alone. She died in 1904, only days after visiting the World’s Fair in St. Louis, of a cerebral hemorrhage (Kate Chopin).
In effort to support herself and her family, Chopin began writing. Most of what she wrote is set in Louisiana and about people she had known there. The Awakening, published in 1899, was inspired by a New Orleans woman in the French Quarter (Wyatt). Much of her influence came from her French background and from the women who had nurtured her when she was young. Chopin wrote hundreds of short stories, some of which were children’s stories, along with Bayou Folk (1894), A Night in Acadie (1897), and lesser known At Fault (1890) (Kate Chopin). Many of her stories received good reviews across the nation in her time except for The Awakening, which has a highly controversial storyline that focuses on the life of a struggling women (Wyatt). Growing up during the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era, Chopin was in the middle of women’s suffrage and their fight to gain equal rights as men.
Women’s suffrage, the right to vote, initially began during...

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