Open Endings Essay, Research Paper
Leaving her fictional stories with endings for the reader s imagination makes Kate Chopin an outstanding and creative writer. Not only are her stories interesting and fun to read, but it seems they reflect on some facet of her own life. Most of her work was based around feminism because in the 1890 s, feminism was a big issue. Kate Chopin was married with six children by the time she was twenty-eight years old. Kate struggled to fit into her town in Louisiana even though because her and her husband had been wealthy, they were somewhat the top gossip among their neighbors. When Kate Chopin s husband died she decided that she wanted to start writing. I enjoyed the few pieces I had read by Kate Chopin because even when her stories were meant to be fiction, after reading about her, I saw many similarities between the stories and her. The Story of an Hour was about the woman who had heart trouble and had been told that her husband had passed away. During the story, the lady, Mrs. Mallard, grieves about his death for a little while but then she starts whispering to herself over and over, free, free, free. This brings up a question that is unanswered. Was Kate Chopin feeling the same way as Mrs. Mallard had felt? Did Kate think that she also was, free, free, free , when her husband died? Apparently, Mrs. Mallard was in a very unhappy marriage and seemed quite pleased when she had heard the news about Mr. Mallard passing on. She had mentioned in the story that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death. Did Mr. Mallard beat his wife and were those hands kind and tender when was living? Or did Mr. Chopin beat his wife? In the end of the story Mr. Mallard comes into the house, because someone had mistaken him for the dead, and his wife saw him and died. Now we think that she died of heart disease, but there could be many different explanations. Kate Chopin left the endings open for the vivid imaginations of the readers. Were both husbands controlling in some way over their wives? We will never know. This is an excellent piece of work and I enjoy the opportunity to be able to create my own conclusion and thoughts about a story like this. The next story I read from Kate Chopin was The Storm. This story was about a woman that was home alone on a stormy afternoon while her son and her husband were out in the storm. An old friend that she hadn t seen in a while had stopped by and asked her if he could come in until the storm passed. This story was basically about a woman, named Calixta, who is home alone on a rainy afternoon and a man comes to her house and she is still attracted to him as she was years before. The two end up together in a way that is not acceptable considering they are both married. They had not even heard the rain pounding down on to the roof. Maybe this indicates that Kate Chopin has committed adultery and was unfaithful to her husband while he was living. The storm had passed and the sun had brightened the town and Alc e had rode off. In the end Alc e had written a letter to his wife telling her not to hurry home and she apparently felt the same about him. As for Calixta, her husband and child returned and they lived their life as happily as it had started. Once again, she had the woman in the story showing her feelings that she was not all that happy in her marriage but this time she had her cheating instead of dying. These stories seem to be expressing Kate s feeling towards her husband and that is why she had not started writing until after his death. Maybe she wanted out of the marriage and lived her life pretending to be happy.
Kate Chopin also wrote a story titled, D sir e s Baby , again about a woman who seemed to want out of her marriage. This story is about a lady named, D sir e, who was abandoned by Texans when she was a small child and was found and loved by Madame Valmond . Madame Valmond never explained D sir e s origin to her but she did want her to understand where she came from. When D sir e was eighteen, she fell in love, got married, had a son and moved away. Her husband was a very strict man and very demanding but according to D sir e, he was very gentle and reliable with the baby. They had Negroes working for them and her husband was very hard on them. Then things started to change as the baby had gotten older. Her husband started telling D sir e that the baby was not white and either was she. Apparently she had an affair with one of the slaves because in the story it states that, he looked up at his mistress , and then the Negro left the room very quietly so her husband wouldn t hear. Or did she really have an affair? We never know. Eventually, she and the baby left and never returned. Incidentally, one day her husband was reading old letters from his mother to his father and noticed that he too, is part Negro. This story also has an open ending for the reader s pleasure. We never know if he ever found his mother to ask her about their heritage. We also never know if his wife and child ever returned or if she met up with the Negro and lived her life with him. We never know that the baby was black or was not. Kate Chopin seems to have wanted out of her marriage and wrote about in her stories after her husband passed on, when she was finally happy.