Sunday, December 24, 2017

Caline by Kate Chopin Review

"Caline" by Kate Chopin is a short story about a girl. She lived in a rural place without any traces of civilization. This place was located near the railway and once the train stopped near her house unexpectedly.

The author described the passengers through the eyes of the little girl. The ladies "... walked awkwardly in their high-heeled boots over the rough, uneven ground, and held up their skirts mincingly. They twirled parasols over their shoulders, and laughed immoderately at the funny things which their masculine companions were saying." The passengers tried to talk with the girl but without success, because they couldn't understand her French dialect. One youngster started to draw the girl. She stood silently astonished by the unknown world which was disclosed to her for a short time.

The following days she reminisced about this event again and again. Eventually, she moved to a big city, started working as a maidservant in one family. Her first impressions of this new life were very pleasant. "Caline liked it very well, for it was pleasant, on Sunday afternoons, to stroll with the children under the great, solemn sugar sheds; or to sit upon the compressed cotton bales, watching the stately steamers, the graceful boats, and noisy little tugs that plied the waters of the Mississippi."

The mood of the girl changed quite fast if someone "... asked her again after another week if she were still pleased, she was not so sure. And again when she questioned Caline the girl turned away, and went to sit behind the big, yellow cistern, to cry unobserved. For she knew now that it was not the great city and its crowds of people she had so eagerly sought; but the pleasant-faced boy, who had made her picture that day under the mulberry tree."

The author of this story represented the social inequality, the attitude of a new generation to the benefits of being wealthy, the dissatisfaction of current level of life. Let's imagine that the girl became a part of high-level society. Would she be satisfied with her new life? For the short time - yes. But after some time ... Probably no, her natural pessimism would bring her into the similar mood. The key thing about that issue is an attitude. If a person is not grateful for the life which that person has, the feeling of satisfaction couldn't be achieved. Maybe Kate Chopin wanted to say to readers: be happy, pleased with the destiny you have ..., but it is only one interpretation of the story.



This is a link to the story:
https://americanliterature.com/author/kate-chopin/short-story/caline