Kate Chopin

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St. Louis,
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Aquarius
Birthday
Birthplace
St. Louis,

Kate Chopin was a feminist writer from the United States. She wrote almost a hundred short tales and sketches in addition to two novels. Her great grandmother was instrumental in furthering her knowledge of French culture and feminism, which eventually inspired her creative works. The majority of her stories were set in Louisiana. Her earlier works show the influence of realist author William Dean Howells. Several of her short pieces, such as “Desiree’s Baby,” were written in the satirical style of Maupassant. Her use of sensitive issues including marriage, feminism, and suicide in her work “The Awakening” drew harsh criticism from male critics. The novel’s content was controversial among critics because one of the female characters has two lovers, which the critics regarded unethical. She advocated for women’s ability to think independently through her works. “The Story of an Hour” and “A Pair of Silk Stockings,” two of her short pieces, reflect her liberal attitude toward women. Her short pieces have appeared in prestigious publications such as “Vogue.” She did not earn much recognition for her creative efforts, but experts regarded her controversial novel “The Awakening” to be a thought-provoking creation after her death.

Childhood and Adolescence

Kate Chopin was born Katherine O’Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of successful businessman Thomas O’Flaherty and Eliza Faris.
She enrolled at The Sacred Heart Academy in St. Louis in 1855, where she excelled academically and received honors. Her father died in a train accident in the same year.

She was reared by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother after his father died. Kate learned French and singing from her great-grandmother, as well as the art of storytelling.

She lived through the horrors of the Civil War as a youth. She began writing with the support of Madam O’Meara, one of her teachers, as a method to convey her sentiments about the war’s sufferings. In 1868, she received her diploma from The Sacred Heart Academy.

Kate Chopin’s Career

On October 27, 1889, her debut short tale, “A Point at Issue!” was published in the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch.” Her story “Wiser Than God” was published in “Philadelphia Musical Journal” after several months.
She published her first work, “At Fault,” on her own dime in 1890. She joined the Wednesday Club during this period, but she quit after a while.

Several journals and newspapers, including “Vogue,” “Harper’s Young,” and “Youth’s Companion,” published her work during this time. Her collection of short stories “Bayou Folk,” published by Houghton Mifflin in 1894, received critical praise.

Way & Williams released “A Night in Acadie,” her second collection of short stories, in November 1897.
Her work “The Awakening,” published in 1899, sparked great debate due to its topic of marriage, women, sexual desire, and suicide. She was also denied membership in the St. Louis Fine Art Club because of the book’s content.
In 1902, she released “Poly,” a short novella that would be her final work.

Kate’s Major Projects

In 1894, she published “Bayou Folk,” a collection of short stories. “Desiree’s Baby,” which is famous for its subject, is included in this collection. It relates to the narrative of Desiree, a woman who through a terrible period in her life following the birth of her kid.

Her spouse questioned her ethnicity because of the child’s African-American skin color. Later in the novel, it was discovered that the husband’s race is likewise a mystery.

Her novel “The Awakening” was released in 1899. Kate’s work depicts Edna Pontellier’s story and her unique thoughts on society. The genuine presentation of feminism and human psychology in this work makes it stand out.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1870, she married Oscar Chopin, the son of a Louisiana plantation owner, and moved to New Orleans. Oscar used to run his business out of this location.
Jean Baptiste, Oscar Charles, George Francis, Frederick, Felix Andrew, and Lelia were their five boys and one daughter.

When her husband Oscar ran into financial difficulties, he stopped his business and moved his family to Cloutierville in northwestern Louisiana. He ran a general store and held modest plantation estates after arriving there.
She assumed responsibility for running Oscar’s business and repaying her husband’s massive debt after his death in 1882.

She and her children returned to her mother in St. Louis in 1884, but she lost her mother in 1885. She suffered from depression after the deaths of her husband and mother.

During this period, she began writing, which enabled her to earn a living and helped her to overcome her despair.
After suffering a stroke, she passed away.

When Per Seyersted took the effort to publish “Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography” in 1969, she got posthumous acknowledgment for her commendable contribution as a writer.

Estimated Net worth

Kate is one of the wealthiest novelists and one of the most popular. Kate Chopin’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

Trivia

Following her marriage, this American feminist writer dressed unconventionally and smoked cigarettes, both of which were against the conventions of female behavior at the time.