What features make The Awakening a "local color" story?
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Three main related factors make Chopin's great short novel a local color story: the amount of time she spent describing things, the setting, and the language used. Regarding the time spent describing things, there is far more time spent on description than was needed for either plot or character development. This slows the action down—but it gives readers in a time before television a glimpse of another world. The setting is exotic—we have parrots, cottages, and "bridges" to them, all in the first page or so. And the language used includes everything from local references (the palmleaf fan) to literally different languages, such as the French the parrot speaks on the first page.
When other colored people are introduced in the novel, not much time is spent describing them or giving them a background. The reader can only truly relate to the whites in this book.
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