Our Editors On:
A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin
Little Mrs. Sommers comes to life in a “pair of silk stockings”, just like Edna Pontellier, the protagonist of Chopin’s famous and ground-breaking The Awakening. Little Mrs. Sommers awakens, perhaps intentionally, in a short moment of tiredness and weakness, of lack of attention; a moment when “the needs of the present filled her to the brim” and disturbs the order of things, causing her to stray from what is customary and expected of her as a woman and a mother in 1897. In this little story and her work in general, Chopin focuses on the status of women and their freedom. In her delicate and poetic language, she explores the innards of the feminine and maternal day-to-day life and, being ahead of her time, legitimizes the refusal to accept the conventions of society and live according to them.