Literary Journey
National Contexts
Women’s Issues
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Birth Control
Secondary Ed
Chopin's NOLA
Cheniere Hurricane
Photo Album
Web Authors
Student Album
Course Essentials
Chopin & Sou. Lit. Links
N. O. & Other Links
Grand Isle

Kate Chopin: A Literary Journey


April 22, 1999 was the centennial of the publication of The Awakening. In order to fully appreciate Kate Chopin's work the reader must prepare to take a journey back in time, emerge himself or herself into the social, literary, historical, and intellectual contexts of 1899, and imagine what a woman's perspective would have been at that time. We would like to help you take this journey as you wander through our web site.

Each of Chopin's characters and settings puts us in touch with some aspect of ideology of the nineteenth century. Adele's character elicits contemplation of childbirth practices in her time and the limited aspects of birth control. The Farival twins and Mademoiselle Reisz lead to appreciation of music through such pieces as "Zampa". Robert's character forces an awareness of national contexts such as the type of trade relations, which existed between the United States and Mexico. Edna's complex character brings us to issues of women's rights, sexuality and sensuality, and the ultimate hopelessness of women's forced inability to express independence. Feminist issues surface through our heroine as Chopin takes us through the young character's struggle to achieve womanhood.

We will attempt to familiarize you with the settings in and surrounding the New Orleans area through photographs, which hopefully, will provide contextual references. Chopin's home on Louisiana Avenue and Edgar Degas' home on Esplanade take us closer to Edna's city life and how her two homes may have been designed. Also, references to the Great Hurricane of 1893 show how the exclusive Grand Isle summer retreat frequented by our characters would have been effected by it.

Impressionist and post impressionist painters lead a feeling to the cultural presence of the nineteenth century. We have also included maps of the area and a source page to provide references for further reading and give access to literary contexts of the time. Enjoy your journey!


Copyright (c) 1999; all rights reserved.

Email Us                                                                                                                  Date Page Last Updated 06/12/00


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