Kate Chopin was an incredibly talented writer of the late 1800’s. Kate wrote about real feelings and real issues. Few of the topics thatshe wrote about were spoken of. Kate Chopin became one of the best known and most controversial writers of the 19th century. She stood up for women, their rights and other real issues, no matter what the cost was to her reputation. Kate Chopin was born, Katherine O’Flaherty, on February 8,1851, in St. Louis Missouri. She was raised by women for most of her childhood. Kate grew up, married, had kids and was widowed by her husband who died of malaria.
It wasn’t until the death of her husband that she moved back to her birth place (St. Louis), and began to write. By the time she had started to write, Kate had already experienced many maturing life situations. Kate Chopin wrote about real life and real life situations. Kate foreshadowed future events in her writings. Kate wrote “The Awakening”, in which she expresses her interest in passion, sexuality and marriage. “It also shows her concern for the plight of women in Victorian-era America”. (May and Trosky 105) She also had an interest in passion and infidelity. Kate expressed her opinion of liberty nd freedom for women.
Kate Chopin had the “guts” to write about a woman’s emotional and sexual needs. She also wrote about independence in a woman and she encouraged women not to become a useless wife. Also, “With the quest for physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom of a female protagonist as a common theme, much of her work appeared loosely autobiographical. ” (Compton’s Encyclopedia Online v3. 0) Kate Chopin is referred to “The artist who dares and defies. ” (Ahead of her Time 1) At the time Kate Chopin was writing about these topics, they were unspoken of.
The subjects that she wrote about were not acknowledged. Kate received critical abuse and the public started to disapprove of her. Some of the negative criticism was for her deep emotional description of a women’s coming independence and sensuality. Kate’s editors suspended publication of her third collection of stories. The publishers felt that the work delt with too much explicit details of love, sex and marriage. Kate was denied a membership to the St. Louis Fine Arts Club. Kate Chopin almost stopped her writing entirely because of all the reactions to her work.
Overall, Kate’s career lasted 14 years and included over 100 novels, stories, poems, reviews, plays and essays. Kate Chopin is now recognized as one of the most important American women novelists. The Awakening, (rediscovered in the 1960’s), is now considered to be extraordinary and Kate’s masterpiece. This book also made Kate Chopin ” a standard-bearer of the women’s rights movement”. (Compton’s Encyclopedia Online v3. 0) Kate should have been in the 21st century because now these topics are common and accepted among the public. History showed Kate to be ahead of her time as an advocate for ending the poor treatment of women.