Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Pair of Silk Stockings - Kate Chopin

I am enjoying my little Penguins. They are about 50 pages long and most of them have more than one story. This one for example has five stories. One can fit them into small 20 minute slots while waiting etc.

'Desiree's Baby' is about a young couple who appear white for all purposes but who have a colored child. The suspicions are cast on the lady and she is driven away with the baby for having hidden her birth secret. While burning away the baby's belongings, cradle etc, the husband does not burn one letter. It is written by his mother to his father and she is happy that her son (who is born white) will never know that he belongs to a colored family. I would not have understood this story if I had not read 'Roots' and from there figured out the varying shades of people.

'Miss McEnders' is all moralistic and takes back work given to a lady whom she considers amoral. Miss McEnders wants to set the world right. The lady in question comes by and points a few truths to Miss McEnders who soon realises that the whole world knows of her father's treachery and her fiance's debauchery.

'The Story of an Hour' begins with the feeling of ecstasy that sweeps over a long suffering wife (who has a heart ailment) when she hears that her husband of many years died in an accident. She feels incredible relief. But within an hour comes the husband who has been mistakenly identified. Her happy heart breaks. Death by uncontrollable happiness says the doctor. Lovely.

I didn't get what Neg Creole was about.

'A Pair of Silk Stockings' is about poor Mrs Sommers who sets out with fifteen dollars and a host of good intentions of buying stuff for her children. She never buys anything for herself, nor eats because she just about makes ends meet. But when her hand falls on a pair of fine silk stockings at the shop she cannot resist and buys them for 2 dollars. Then she gives in and buys a fine pair of gloves, then has a fine lunch in a fine restaurant and then treats herself to a matinee. On the cable car home, she wonders if she cannot just go away forever on the cable car. Beautiful.

Kate Chopin tells fine stories.

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