Kate Chopin’s works, The Awakening and “A Pair of Silk Stockings”, explore two different experiences for women in the late 1800s. The former is a novel that follows Edna Pontellier through her self-awakening process of breaking free from societal expectations. The latter is a short story about Mrs. Sommers who receives an unexpected windfall which leads to the realization that she must continue living with poverty despite her momentary reprieve. Despite their differences in plot and characters, both narrative pieces reflect Kate Chopin’s views on female autonomy and societal norms during this time period in history.
Compare and contrast Chopin’s The Awakening and her short story “A Pair of Silk Stockings,”
The Awakening centers around protagonist Edna Pontellier’s inner struggle between living as a dutiful wife and mother while trying to pursue her own desires and independence. Despite being married to Leonce Pontellier, Edna begins to have feelings for Robert Lebrun which serves as catalyst for her rebellion against social conventions as she realizes that she can make decisions about her own life without anyone else’s input or approval. Her journey is one of self-discovery where she explores what makes her happy and ultimately rejects traditional roles expected of women at this time period by taking control over her own destiny even if it doesn’t fit into societal standards or expectations.
On the other hand, “A Pair of Silk Stockings” features Mrs Sommers who receives a sum of money from a mysterious benefactor which allows her to buy some luxuries like new shoes for herself and presents for each daughter among other items – all things out of reach when having limited financial resources. This plot serves as an exploration into materialism but also highlights how easy it is to fall back into old habits despite having been given an opportunity out of poverty via the windfall money – something that not everyone experiences multiple times in their lives unlike more fortunate people such as Edna Ponteller who had inherited wealth from family members before marrying into another affluent family all together giving them access to much more than just money but resources too like connections etc..
Katie Chopin’s works offer insight into the challenges faced by many women at this time especially those lower class families dealing with economical hardship while trying maintain dignity amongst all odds presented before them; something only possible when given access (or lack thereof) certain opportunities available depending on one’s background etc.. In addition, both stories emphasize how difficult it can be for women—particularly those low-income or minority households—to live up society’s expectations when faced with oppression due lack resources either physical/monetary means or class status/privileges afforded others regardless race/ethnicity because these factors will inevitably affect choices made going forward thus making goal attainment almost impossible sometimes leading character(s) down path despair filled angst until they eventually break free from preconceived notions through courage & determination proving anything indeed achievable no matter situation looking daunting initially!