Kate Chopin Questions and Answers

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In "Odalie Misses Mass," by Kate Chopin, what does the author say about the Southern region? Is she being sentimental, ironic, or muckraking?    

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To answer your question, Kate Chopin may have written Odalie Misses Mass as a literary experiment. Chopin wrote in the 19th century, when stories about female friendships were rare. In fact, stories about female friendships across the color line were even rarer. In her time, Chopin was a maverick; she explored issues other authors stayed far away from.

Emily Toth points out that, in Chopin's time, many white authors wrote stories about black mammies who were devoted to their masters' white offspring. However, there were few stories detailing the devotion of whites towards their black peers. Chopin explores this possibility in Odalie Misses Mass. Essentially, Chopin experiments with removing not just the color barrier in the story but also the generational one. Odalie is a young teen, while Aunt Pinky is an elderly black woman.

You're right that everyone can learn a lot from Odalie. Perhaps in Chopin's 19th century South, there were relationships that mirrored Odalie and Aunt Pinky's....

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write3,263 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial