What overall feeling do you get when you read The Locket by Kate Chopin?
Does this mood change at all throughout the reading? If so, how? What specific words and phrases does the author use to make you feel this way?
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The feeling I get when I read this short story is one of mystery. The author sets the stage for this right from the very beginning when she describes the locket as some sort of good luck charm. When one of the men says:
That's a charm; some kind of hoodoo business that one o' them priests gave him to keep him out o' trouble.
One gets the idea that something important is going to be associated with this locket. Later, when the soldier is found dead with the locket around his neck, the reader is let down, because he has been hoping that the locket would offer some sort of protection. The second part of the story, however, contains a lot of foreshadowing that some irony is going to pop up, especially if one is familiar with Kate Chopin’s writing. She always has an ironic twist at the end of the story. So when Octavie is riding along with her lover’s father and he asks her to remove her mourning veil, the reader gets the idea that there must be some reason. Then, he tells her that on such a beautiful spring day, one can almost believe in miracles. At the end, the reader realizes that a miracle of sorts occurs, because Octavie’s soldier is not dead after all. The one found dead with the locket was not her lover, but someone who had stolen the locket. How ironic!
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