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What is the theme of "The Kiss" by Kate Chopin?

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The main theme of the story is that a woman cannot possibly expect both passion and wealth in marriage: she must choose one. Chopin often writes about the untenable choices women had to make during the late Victorian era. Miss Nathalie waits for the "rather insignificant and unattractive Brantain" to declare his love and propose to her because he is "enormously rich," and she both "liked and required the entourage which wealth could give her." There is never any discussion of Nathalie's feelings for Brantain, and she does not appear to have any strong feelings about him whatsoever; his money, on the other hand, is a different story.

Instead of keeping a discreet distance and observing proper decorum, as Brantain does, Harvy—when he enters the room—goes immediately to Nathalie for a kiss, which he boldly takes. Nathalie later explains to Brantain that Harvy is a good friend of the family, like...

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

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