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Kate Chopin and The Awakening Kate Chopin born Catherine OFlaherty was born on July 12 1850 in St Louis Missouri Her mother was a French-American Eliza Faris and her father Thomas an Irish immigrant They were a happy family until her father died suddenly in 1855 A life surrounded by a father figure had ceased She then had only female role models in her widowed mother widowed grandmother and widowed great grandmother Her other siblings also died while still in childhood In 1868 Kate graduated from the St Louis Academy of the Sacred Heart She was then known at one of the acknowledged belles of St Louis In June of 1870 Kate married Oscar Chopin of New Orleans a Creole cotton broker and moved to New Orleans with him In May of 1871 she gave birth to her first son Jean and then continued to give birth to 5 more children throughout the 1870s Kate was fulfilling the responsibilities expected of a typical young housewife In the late 70s Oscars cotton brokerage business failed and three years later he past away suddenly These close relationships and how quickly they were lost is thought to be why she began to write She wrote fiction seriously including many short stories that were never published This collection of short stories earned her the highest critical praise she would receive in her lifetime Kates need for self-identification and self understanding later became the core of the main characters in her stories Through her life she was always searching for her role in society and who she was This inner search became present in her writing and became a constant theme throughout her works No matter the type of story it was you can always find at least one of her characters struggling for a sense of self women who were very self-reliant civil war racism and relationships between males and females The novel The Awakening relates to Chopins life
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