Beyond the Bayou
3 Installments—Entirely free
Born in St. Louis to a comfortable family, Kate Chopin (1851-1904) grew up a voracious reader. After her education, she was married at the early age of twenty. By age twenty-eight, she had borne six children. Although Chopin and her husband settled in New Orleans originally, strained finances forced their family to relocate to rural Louisiana. Here, Chopin began to make observations into human nature and society that would fuel the striking characters and settings of her later writings. Chopin's husband died suddenly, and she moved her family back to St. Louis, where she was further shattered by the subsequent death of her mother. When her family doctor suggested writing as a way to draw herself out of depression, Chopin found her calling. She enjoyed success through stories published in literary magazines, but when her novel The Awakening debuted, she found that she had pushed the boundaries of convention and propriety too far for the American public. Chopin's striking depiction of a married woman who forsakes her husband, children, and home for the love of another man was simply too much for contemporary readers. Chopin, crushed by this negative response, retreated from the spotlight. Though her works were not published for many years following her death, they are now considered to be valuable and provocative expressions of the unvoiced passions, thoughts, and ambitions of women constrained by the rules of an earlier age.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
The bayou curved like a crescent around the point of land on which La Folle's cabin stood. Between the stream and the hut lay a big abandoned field, where cattle were pastured when the bayou supplied them with water enough. Through the woods that spread back into unknown regions the woman had ...Back to top
Reviewed by Bluestalking on May 28, 2010
Sweet, if predictable story.
Kate Chopin's capable of writing much more complex stories than this. I've read some of her other stories in which she's included an unexpected twist, but this one was pretty predictable. Not a bad story, just not great.
Reviewed by jamiebananas on Apr 12, 2010
Beyond the Bayou
I really liked this story. Charming, short and left me wanting more!
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Ratings for 'Beyond the Bayou' by Chopin, Kate