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Kate Chopin is an American writer of Irish-French origin, who is considered to have been a forerunner of twentieth-century feminist literature. Her literature work has been recognized as a classic of American literature of the XIX century.

Women’s theme takes a special place in the literature of the United States of the second half of the XIX century. During this period, the scientific and philosophical ideas about a woman became immeasurably complicated, that could not but affect the ways of its artistic representation. In this case, Kate Chopin is not an exception.

Of all aspects of human existence, Chopin was most interested in the inner, spiritual life of a woman and how it could be related to the role imposed on women by society. The formation of the artistic world of the writer was undoubtedly greatly influenced by the time and the family, where the foundations of gender individuality are laid.

What are the key ideas of the story?


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“A Pair of Silk Stockings” is a short story about women, who struggles looking for stability between family life and personal enjoyment. It takes place after the Civil War in a city from the South. The plot summary tells about Mrs. Sommers, who one day suddenly discovered that she had won fifteen dollars. It seemed to her a very large amount of money, and the way her old wallet filled up and bulged out gave her a sense of importance that she had not experienced for many years.

Where to spend them is a question that has completely taken possession of it. She did not want to act hastily, having done something, which she later regretted. “Where to spend this money?” was a question that has completely taken possession of her. She did not want to act hastily, having done something, which she later regretted. So, she decides to buy clothes for her children. The idea that her children would look fresh and elegant in new clothes for the first time in her life did not give her peace.

The narrative suggests the statement that Mrs. Sommers had been a wealthy woman before her marriage, but now “needs of the present absorbed her every faculty.” Mrs. Sommers was one of those who knew the full value of sales and discounts, who could stand in queue for hours. But that day she was rather pale and tired. Resting at the counter, she suddenly found a pair of silk stockings for sale, and she was delighted by their smoothness. At this moment, she forgot about children and about all the worries. She changed her mind and started shopping for herself. She bought shoes to go with her beautiful stockings, new gloves, two expensive magazines, visited the restaurant and ended her day in the theatre. Then Mrs. Sommers got into a cable car to return home. The man sitting opposite her seemed to study her small pale face. In fact, he did not see anything – unless he was a wizard and did not recognize the painful and keen desire that the cable would never stop, but go and go on forever.

What is the main focus of the story?

The main focus of this story is on the complexity of the relationship. But the tone of a slight irony smooths out sharp edges and relieves tension from the reader. It is one of the greatest examples of how skillfully selected place decorates, complements and saturates the entire work with colors and paints.

Events take place in difficult times, but if you look, the problems and difficulties are almost always the same for all times and people. Chopin shows a woman in different roles. The leading thesis is the fact that Mrs. Sommers does not want to refuse of her family, but at the same time, she also does not want to refuse of her personal identity and wishes while carrying out the role of mother. The moral lesson is about the internal conflict of the hero, as she became a real fighter and the main victory for her is a victory over herself.

This story contains symbolism that is embodied in the image 15 dollars as a mean of confidence and self-esteem for Mrs. Sommers, the pair of silk stockings that is a symbol of women`s selfish needs and poverty and a cable car that represents the way back to her real life.

The analysis reveals that the dynamics of events unfold gradually, as the actions of the characters of the events are connected by a temporary and causal connection. Skillful use of visual images by the writer creates a fundamentally new, transformed setting, energetic and saturated with colors. “A pair of silk stockings” by Chopin Kate cannot be read without experiencing feelings of love, appreciation, and gratitude.

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So, when Mrs. Sommers came into the small fortune, she faced with an essay for her, as this money gave her the sense of freedom.