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Motivation: Lodges ideas applied to Chopin

“Then shutting her eyes, she ran suddenly down the shallow bank of the bayou, and never stopped till she had climbed the opposite shore”


Lodge argues that we read novels that are fictional for “knowledge of the heart and mind”. Motivation in each novel or story can be perceived differently, however in Kate Chopins short story “Beyond the Bayou” it is incredibly evident. La Folle, an African American woman, who fears nothing more than crossing a certain line that she made up in her own mind. She does not know anything beyond the bayou except that which is in her imagination. However, when Cheri a young boy that La Folle loved dearly, accidently shoots himself in the leg on a Sunday morning, La Folle comes running to help. She cries for help and wishes to take him to the doctor but is too scared to pass the line she has drawn for herself. We see Lodges interpretation of motivation here, when La Folle finds motivation in Cheri to cross the Bayou to protect and save him. Everyone is surprised to see her pass the bayou but no one stops her because of her mad expression. After handing Cheri to his father she faints. The next morning she wakes and passes the Bayou again. This time alone, and yet her motive for passing remains the same as she makes her way to Cheri’s house. She knocks on his mothers door, and as she answers La Folle asks about Cheri. His mother tells her that he will recover. After that La Folle decides to wait on the veranda until Chéri wakes up,  she watches the sunrise with in contentment. For La Folle overcoming the bayou was something unimaginable to all the characters in the story. This may have also been a representation of overcoming slavery.This is because La Folles past bounded her and she had finally overcame it from the motivation that Cheri had given her.

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