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Feminist literary theory applied to Chopin’s short stories (Eva)

Feminist Theory in Kate Chopin’s Short Stories:

Feminist Theory is a well-known women empowerment movement that consists of many different ideas and solutions to the unequal treatment of men and women. Feminism extends to many different issues and problems around the world and works to create political, economic, and social equality between both genders. Kate Chopin presents the Feminist Theory in many of her short stories, one of them being La Belle Zoraide. La Belle Zoraide is a story that entraps the reader into the emotions and feelings of Zoraide’s oppression. In this story, Zoraide, a slave, is being pushed into marrying a mulatto whom she does not wish to marry. Instead, she rebels against her slave master’s orders to keep away from Mezor, and has his child. Unfortunately, however, Zoraide was falsely told that her baby has passed away. This news overtook Zoraide’s insanity and caused her to love and cherish a pile of rags as if they were her child. This story displays feminist theory because Zoraide rebels against her master’s orders and does as she pleases with Mezor. I feel that this story was meant to bring light into the situation of African American women post-civil war and cause the readers to feel sympathetic to the main character. It also focuses on the revolt against a women’s job to conform to roles and social norms.

“‘Nénaine, you would not let me have Mézor for my husband; but I have disobeyed you, I have sinned. Kill me if you wish, nénaine: forgive me if you will; but when I heard le beau Mézor say to me, “Zoraïde, mo l’aime toi,” I could have died, but I could not have helped loving him.'” This quote is evidence of Zoraide’s decision to do as she pleases.

1 Comment

  1. kbdoyle09 says:

    I think you might have misunderstood feminist literary theory for feminism. Feminist literary theory approaches literary interpretation by examining the aspects of a literary work that pertain to gender. How do the stories we read by Chopin depict female characters? male characters? In terms of the choice of narrators, are they mostly female or male? What are the gender-specific implications of characters’ thoughts, actions, and interactions?

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