me...what is the theme of The Kiss by Kate Chopin?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many of Kate Chopin's short stories deal with the experiences of women in a culture dominated by men. So it is with this story. A young woman, Nattie, is intent on making a match for herself with a rather "insignificant and unattractive" but extremely rich young man named Brantain. She is sitting with him in the parlour when an attractive, brash young man named Mr. Harvy comes in and kisses her square on the lips. She is embarassed and explains to Brantain that he is an old family friend, a pal of her brother's, and that he really means nothing to her. He just thinks he is one of the family.

Nattie marries Brantain but at her wedding, Harvy comes over to her and tells her that Brantain has sent him over to kiss her for her wedding day. He smiles and tells Nattie he has given up kissing women because it is dangerous, and as the story ends, it indicates that Nattie is sorry to not have received the kiss, because she obviously was "anticipating" it. But, she concludes, she still has her millions.

Perhaps Nattie was planning to be one of those women who could have her cake and eat it too -- be the wife of a rich man but the lover of a poor man, whom she loved.

The story is a comment on the types of marriages that were often common among the wealthy aristocrats that people Kate Chopin's stories. People of class often must marry for social position, for money, not love. When Nattie concludes, with resignation, that sometimes "you can't have everything" this indicates that she has accepted her choice - money over love.

user9329420 | Student

The emotions of a shy young man may spring almost entirely from fancy rather than from fact.