Regionalism In Désirée's Baby

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The literary movement of Regionalism was a time of self identification and exploration. Writers in this era wrote pieces based off of their own experience and surroundings. They explored topics not traditionally discussed in high brow literature and used their own personal language to illustrate their ideas. One of the more pronounced writers of this era was Kate Chopin, a widowed mother who wrote nearly exclusively about the Louisiana Bayou and women of her time. One of her most popular short stories was “Désirée’s Baby”, a piece dealing with race, heritage, and bayou culture. Katherine O’Flaherty was born in 1850 into high St. Louis society. She was raised by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, all of whom were widowed, well-educated, and independent. Kate was particularly well read and received an extensive education in her youth. She married Oscar Chopin when she was young and had six children in under ten years (Baym and Levine 420). Her husband died when their children were still young, and Kate shortly returned to her childhood home with her children and her husband’s considerable debt. She was fascinated by early feminist ideas and society commentary, and wrote about women and social issues to a great extent. The vast majority of her writing related to her life and the society and region in which she lived. She was also deeply influenced by French authors and social ideologies (Baym and Levine 421). Chopin experienced life before, during, and after the

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