Thursday, April 19, 2012

Short Fiction Review: A pair of silk stockings by Kate Chopin


    A feeling of importance came over Mrs. Sommers after she found fifteen dollars one day and through temptation of dazzling goods, she indulges. At first, whilst she thought of what she should do with the money she imagines that spending it on I think her children. On new dresses and shoes, she decides to do just that with her money. That day, after fulfilling her household duties of cleaning and tending to her children’s needs, she leaves the house without attending to herself. Faintly, she goes to buy the items for her children. A woman used to cheap items and a skill for bargaining, Mrs. Sommers decides to change her ways and buy a pair of silk stockings. The luxury tempted her for more. She then bought shoes and gloves. A sense of assurance and wealth gave her a feeling she hasn’t felt before. 
  Her desires didn’t weaken; she got lunch and then watched a theatre play. There she meets a women beyond her social rank but wasn’t ever noticed. She never had a stare fixed on her and that brought her joy. She awaited a cable car, and thus, a man opposite her fixed his eyes on her symbolizing the desire for this “dream” to never end. 

Mrs. Sommer’s role has always been to be the barer of children and take care of them and the household. That was the only purpose she had. When she found the money, the first thing she thought to do with it was to cater to her children. Her life changed when she felt something as exquisite as silk. The desire for beautiful things tempted her for more. More and more, she lived the life in the shoes of someone in a higher social rank than herself. She wasn’t looked down as poor and that made her feel like she belonged, that she wasn’t insignificant. She disguised herself so well that she was also able to befriend a lady of high stature at the theatre.

Women were suppressed into a role of motherhood at such a young age that that was all they knew. It was rare for women to have the opportunity to go pursue a career or education. Being independent for a woman was looked down on and never easy to do. Being poor on top of that sort of life seems like misery to the modern woman. Our society has come a long way since those times of suppression. Women live an equal life alongside men and are able to choose to be a housewife, professional, or both. 

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