- May 22, 2020
“”by Kate Chopin wasfirst publishedin1897. Furthermore, the short story mainly focuses on the idea ofmotherhood and various approaches are used by the writer towardsstory’s main subject. The short story “” develops theidea that forindividuals especially women to live anabundantand peaceful life, they require the presence of children to care andlove.According to the writer, the presence of a child in a woman’s lifeplays a fundamental role in building and enhancing woman’s maternalrelationship. That is, a woman’s sense of strength and feministdependson her capacityas a mother (Stein, p1-30). In the story, Kate Chopin confidentlyengages the use of fiction to help attract the attention andunderstanding of the readers on the differences that exist betweenthe concept of motherhood and as sequencesof practices and experiences. The fundamentalpurpose of this article,therefore,is to provide readers with a clear overview and analysis of the shortstory “” by Kate Chopin.
Ina bid to achieve this, the article will openly examine the generalstructural arrangement of the context within the story as well as thedifferent themes highlighted by the writer. Throughspecific arguments and back up textual evidence,the essay would be able to create a well-organized analysis thatwould adequately engage the reader’s nature of creativity.Interestingly, it is good to note that instead of using the modernEnglish language, the writer Kate Chopin has opted to use a languagethat was mostlyappreciated and familiar to both the black and white community livingin Louisiana at that time. By doing this, Chopin bringsto life elements of racial tension that primarilyaffected the social and cultural relationship between the colored andwhite population. The mentioned aspect is evident in MamzelleAurelle’sFarmwhere her relationships with the blackpeople isonly based on their ability work and ensure the stable and continuousgrowth and development of her farm.
Thestory majorly focuses on a single character by the name MamzelleAurelle who was forced to care for her neighbor’s four children fortwo weeks. At the age of 50 years, MamzelleAurellehas continued to live alone with neither a husband nor a child.Aurelie, who at her age continues to manage the workforce within herfarm without any desire or need to acquire outside assistance. Otherthan her dog named Ponto and Negro workers, Aurellelacks a clear understanding of relationships as she has never fallenin love with anyone before. The story affirms this by noting,“Mamzelle Aurelle had never thought of marrying. She had never beenin love.” The story further states, “At the age of twenty,Mamzelle Aurelliereceived a marriage proposal which she had promptly declined, and atthe age of fifty she had not yet lived to regret it.”
Importantly,the story is set up in rural Louisiana at Mamzelle Aurelle’sFarm.At her age, Mamzelle Aurelle is faced with a lot of regretsafter declining marriage proposals from all her suitors, therebybeing forced to live alone. In the story, MamzelleAurelleisas a very determined individual with ahealthyand goodphysique,ruddy cheeks with hair changing from brown to gray due to her abilityto live on her own. Throughout the story, Mamzelle Aurelle’sappearance is considered manly and brutal. With a cook and Negroworkers in the field, Mamzelle Aurelle was able to acquire her richeswith her hands despite never having a husband. Throughout her life,all she ever wanted was to be independent and live on her own.
Fromthe onset of the story, Mamzelle Aurelle is seen tobe wearing a man`s hat, top boots occasionally,and old blue army overcoatwhile moving around the farm. In her way, MamzelleAurellesecretly longed for the presence of a child in her life. For example,when her young neighbor Odile, a mother of four kids was forced tovisit her sick mother, she left her children with Mamzelle Aurellewho had never had an experience in caring for kids. In the passage,while speaking to Mamzelle Aurelle, Odile says, “it’s no doubt,Mamzelle Aurelle you just got to take care those children for meuntil I return.” It was after Odile came back and took her kidsfrom Mamzelle Aurelle than she began feeling a sense of emptiness inher life. Bythe dialogue that took place between MamzelleAurelleand Odile onbabysitting the children, key themes within the story comesto life. The topicsinclude loss, loneliness, commitment, detachment, love andindependence as well as responsibility. The subjectof loss entersthe play due to the sense of emptiness that occupies MamzelleAurelle’slife for never having a child whom she can love and care.In the story,the writer Kate Chopin fails to provide a clear and detaileddemonstration on whether or not MamzelleAurellehad any friends other than her farm workers who were blackpeopleand her young neighbor who had four kids. By this, it is evident thatthe theme of loneliness comesto lifedue the factthatthere exists a void in Mamzelle Aurelle’slife which comesout aftershe getstheresponsibility of caring for Odile’s children. It is mainly becauseof this that Mamzelle Aurelle begins to feel detached from the worldaround her. As a result of this, it can bearguedthat the vibrancy brought about by her neighbor children brought tolife the delayed experience that Aulriefailed to achieve in life. Although this revelation does notcompletely change her, it makes her start regretting the variouschoices she made in life.
Consequently,the theme of commitment is self-evident throughout the events in thestory. Mamzelle Aurelle’sattention iswiththe general growth and development of her farm. Although sheconsiders the arrival of Odile’s children to her farm as ahindrance to her regularduties, she grows overly fond of them. By developing a soft spot forthe children through telling them bedtime stories, it is clear thatMamzelle Aurelleisensuring that the children attain a sense of belonging in her home.By this, it is worth noting that, where readers had initiallyperceived Mamzelle Aurelle as aloudand stubborn woman, the arrival of the children and her commitmenttowards ensuring their wellbeing has significantly brought out herflexiblenature.
Inmatters responsibility, Kate Chopin has used Mamzelle Aurelle’sfocus on the growth and development of her farm. Her need to become asuccessful farmer made her escape from somerealities in life such as getting married and having children. Forexample, in dialect between her and AuntRuby (her cook) Mamzelle Aurelle says, “me, I’d rather look afterseveralfirms than four kids. It’s terracing! Don’t speak to me regardingchildren!” hence, Mamzelle Aurelle pays a lot of attention inensuring the stability of her business than raising her family.Further, during this time, Mamzelle Aurelle feels disgusted by thepresence of children in her life. As a result of this, she begins tofeed them like animals. However, in the subsequent paragraphs in thestory, Mamzelle Aurelle’scharacter alwayschanges due to her constant personality development throughout thestory. That is, while initially,she perceived children as a set of burden, she later learnedto love and enjoy living with them.
Althoughatthe beginning of the story, Mamzelle Aurelle is seen to be wearing aman’s hat, an old blue army overcoat,and top-boots, her dress code begins to change upon meeting andstaying with her neighbors’ children for a while. It is during thistime that MamzelleAurellecanconfidently project her feminine side through the practice of sewingbaskets and wearing her white apron in front of the children. It is,therefore,apparentto the reader that Mamzelle Aurelle became aware of her feminine sideupon sharing time with her neighbor`schildren, it is clear that somequestions arise over the concept of gender equality within thesociety.
Allin all, the ideal moral of the story is that individuals should oftentake advantage of their youths as the time provided is too short tobe redeemed. That is, they should be able to live their lives totheir fullest without giving room to regret due to an increased senseof social or cultural manipulation. Itis primarily because of this that thegeneral fear of rejection succeeds in keeping us away from the thingsthat matter, what we love and want. It is through thisthattheme “regret” is born. Being the character and the key focus ofthe story, despite the riches that she had successfully emergedMamzelle Aurelle constantly regretted not having lived her life tothe fullest. That is because she lacked the sense of a priceless joybrought about by the presence of a family. Given her old age, it wasevident that Mamzelle Aurelle would not be able to find the missingspark or the mutual happiness in life.
Towardsthe end of the story, the writer Kate Chopin provides readers withthe opportunity to identify and understand effects of not having achild,as well as the departure of Odile`s children onMamzelle Aurelle. In the story, Kate Chopin states, “The arrival ofOdile, her “closest” neighbor wasn’t happy for her.” “Butthis coming unannounced and unexpected, threw Mamzelle Aurelle into aflutter that was almost agitation.” Despite her need to hide heremotions, it was clear that MamzelleAurelleregretted not having a family, or rather children of her own. Forinstance, after the children left her farm, MamzelleAurellefell down on bentarms and began to cry. “She cried! With sobs like a man,that looked to tear her soul.” It is for this reasons that aninternal conflict emerges within Mamzelle Aurelle. She begins tostruggle with her hearton the ideas of right or wrong, the concept of physical limitationsand choices that are set to hinder the overall growth and developmentof an individual. Consequently, by not noticing her dog Pontotrouncing her hands, Mamzelle Aurelle realizes that despite herfinancial success, she is still lonely and unhappy. Unlike Odile andher children, Mamzelle Aurelle lacks adequate meaning in her lifethat would help satisfy her daily emotional needs and demands. Thatis because she preferred working on her farm rather than raising herfamily.
Shegoes back to the house. In the room,there wasa lot of chores awaiting hersince the children had gone and left alotof disarraybehind them. Nonetheless, she had no plans of righting the situation.AurlieMamzelle while seated right ather table, and she gives a slow peep fromside to side of the room, she saw thenightfall shades and obscurities deepening and creepingaroundhersinglebody.
Inconclusion, this essay has been able to successful provide a clearand detailed analysis of the short story “” by Kate Chopin.By focusing on the different themes such as loss, loneliness,commitment, detachment, love and independence as well asresponsibility, it is evident that the article has managed to buildand enhance the reader’s perception and understanding of thenarrative. That is, by breaking down the content of the story usingthe different subjects, the essay has demonstrated how the concept ofregret takes root within the story. Importantly, the piecehas also identified and focused onthe particularargument, backed up by textual evidence to help build the idea andanalytic overview of the text. Finally, according to the story, it istrue that Kate Chopin confidently engages the use of fiction inhelping attract the attention and understanding of the readers on thedifferences that exist between the concept of motherhood and assequences of practices and experiences.Loney,she allowed her head fall on her bent arm, and she started weeping.She cried not in a flexible manner as women do but as a man, withsnivels that looked like tearing her soul. It is a result she nevernoticed that Ponto licked her hand. The moral lesson in the story issimply that no material wealthy can satsfy individuals need if wehave no compny of people we love and care.
Stein,Allen F. Womenand Autonomy in Kate Chopin’s Short Fiction NewYork:Peter Lang, p.1-30. 2005.
Leary,Lewis, KateChopin: The Awakening and Other Stories NewYork: Holt, Rinehart together with Winston, 1970.