The Conflict between the Spiritual and the Sensual Dimension in Kate Chopin’s Short Stories

Florinda Boriçi


The aim of this paper is to analyze the conflict between the spiritual and the sensual dimension in Kate Chopin’s short stories, specifically in “Two Portraits”, “Lilacs” and “A Vocation and a Voice”. Kate Chopin is the author of some of the boldest and best stories written in America before the 1960s. She set most of her stories in late nineteenth-century Louisiana and portrayed characters from all social classes of her time and place. Her stories explore the relationships between these various classes and especially, relationships between men and women. In her stories are treated all sorts of taboo subjects such as miscegenation, divorce, and even female sexuality. Chopin concentrated on the immutable impulses of love and sex and was deeply influenced by Walt Whitman and Guy de Maupassant in this regard. She was the first woman writer in her country to accept passion as a legitimate subject for serious, outspoken fiction. Revolting against tradition and authority; with a daring which we can only fathom today; with an uncompromising honesty and no trace of sensationalism, she undertook to give the unsparing truth about women’s submerged life. Kate Chopin is considered today by many critics as a prophet of the twentieth century feminism.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n9p314

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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