Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

In the decades leading up to women’s suffrage in the United States, feminism began to surge across the nation. While many feminist writers overtly called for an abandon of female gender roles, not all were as polarizing. One of those more covert authors was Kate Chopin.By crafting female characters that are shaped and influenced by their society’s standards (instead of wholly rejecting them), Chopin is able to create a more poignant and effective commentary on gender roles at the time. This paper will analyze three of her short stories and their focus on how the patriarchal society limits independence, creates unrealistic standards for an “ideal woman,” and stigmatizes women who fight against the system. By bringing these problems to the forefront, Chopin shows her readers that these issues need to improve, by finding a solution between traditionalism and feminism, or else women will continue to suffer in their marriages.

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Patriarchy & Feminism in the Early 20th Century: Finding Middle Ground Through Kate Chopin

In the decades leading up to women’s suffrage in the United States, feminism began to surge across the nation. While many feminist writers overtly called for an abandon of female gender roles, not all were as polarizing. One of those more covert authors was Kate Chopin.By crafting female characters that are shaped and influenced by their society’s standards (instead of wholly rejecting them), Chopin is able to create a more poignant and effective commentary on gender roles at the time. This paper will analyze three of her short stories and their focus on how the patriarchal society limits independence, creates unrealistic standards for an “ideal woman,” and stigmatizes women who fight against the system. By bringing these problems to the forefront, Chopin shows her readers that these issues need to improve, by finding a solution between traditionalism and feminism, or else women will continue to suffer in their marriages.