Would you please guide me to a new approach and views of feminism that can be applied and new on Kate Chopin's fiction?Im going to do a research on kate chopin fiction from feminism view but i dont...

Would you please guide me to a new approach and views of feminism that can be applied and new on Kate Chopin's fiction?

Im going to do a research on kate chopin fiction from feminism view but i dont know which ideas are new to apply.

Asked on by k57576000

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Concerning your plans to analyze Kate Chopin from the feminist point of view/feminist literary theory, it is every critic's goal to discover and relate something new.  It is a particularly excellent goal if you are a student in, say, high school.

Of course, discovering something new is extremely difficult, when you are, in a sense, competing with scholars that specialize in whatever area you're studying in.

That said, I'll help you along if I can.  The place to start is with your own reading and your own application of feminism to Chopin's work.  Your own perspective is something that is inherently original.  Made sure you are as knowledgeable as possible about feminism and about Chopin's work.

Another work you can look at for comparison/contrast is also Jane Eyre.  The "mad woman in the attic" idea refers to Mr. Rochester's first wife, I believe. 

Chopin is one writer whose well-know views can enhance the reading of her work, also.  For instance, her famous story, "The Story of an Hour," does not mention physical desires, or the idea that women have physical desires the same as men, yet society more freely allows men to fulfill their desires than it does women.  Yet, Chopin's views, as well as her other works, of course, inform the critic about what Mrs. Mallard is feeling.

There's a few additions to the above answer to help you along.  Feel free to email me if you need anything else.

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missjenn | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I am not totally familiar with the critical done with Chopin's fiction, but I do know that "The Awakening" is a perfect example of the angel/devil role women must play in traditional literature as proposed by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Their essay is called "The Madwoman in the Attic." (Yes, it is a reference to the "Yellow Wallpaper," so you can keep that in mind when thinking about Chopin as well.) Also Luce Irigaray has an essay called "The Power of Discourse and the Subordination of the Feminine." This essay is short but packed with big ideas about how women have no language of their own, because it is so heavily coded with masculinity.

You can always try to re-explore a work through an already used idea or theory if you can put a new spin on it, or add in one more perimeter from another critical source. Good luck!

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