Critical Analysis Of Kate Chopin's 'A Respectable Woman'

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In "A Respectable Woman," Kate Chopin digs in to examine the psychology of Mrs. Baroda, a rich woman with a loving husband who encounters temptation in the person of Gouvernail, a well-mannered, humble visitor to the Baroda’s plantation. Mrs. Baroda is tempted early in the story with the view of a change from a noiseless, more conventional life, Mrs. Baroda does not immediately identifies what she really wants and finally struggles with the self-inflicted restrictions of her personality as "a respectable woman." Nonetheless, just as the narrative suggests that she has found the power to overcome her emotions, Mrs. Baroda spoke to her husband and proposes a sweetly unclear statement that revives the question of her intention to act upon her emotions. She tells him, "I have overcome everything! You will see. This time I shall be very nice to him." At first glimpse, this statement appears to suggest that Mrs. Baroda has reclaimed control of her emotions. Overcoming "everything" appears to mean that she has overcome not only her disapproval about Gouvernail, but also her secret romantic feelings. However, because she modifies her statement with the suggestion that she will be “very nice” to him on his next visit, she may indicate that after overcoming her distrusts and her mental restrictions, she has decided to fill her desires in choosing of having an affair. Chopin deliberately leaves the meaning of this statement uncertain, but knowing what we know about her

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