Our story today is called "A Pair of Silk Stockings. Here is Barbara Klein with the story. Little Missus Sommers one day found herself the unexpected owner of fifteen dollars. It seemed to her a very large amount of money.
|Published (Last):||18 April 2019|
|PDF File Size:||14.41 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||20.16 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly in possession of money and felt paralyzed with indecision about how to spend it? Should you save it? Spend it on several small things or one big thing?
Something fun or something sensible? Sometimes the options are so overwhelming that you end up not spending the money at all, or you spend it on something totally random. This is the story of Mrs. Sommers , the main character--or really only active character--in Kate Chopin's famous story ''A Pair of Silk Stockings. Her thoughts go immediately to her children--they should have new clothes that will last them awhile.
While her plans are sensible and selfless, her subconscious has other ideas. Her feet take her to a department store, where she delights over the feel of some silk stockings. She purchases the stockings and continues through the store, realizing that her new stockings wouldn't look right with her old shoes; she must buy some new ones.
After buying shoes, she buys a pair of new gloves. After this spontaneous shopping spree, she decides she needs to eat lunch. Thinking she'd only get a small bite, she ends up with a several-course meal, including dessert, wine, and coffee. After eating a delicious meal, Mrs. Sommers is feeling satisfied and content, more than she has in a very long time.
A flyer for a theater catches her eye and she decides, with the money she has left, she will take herself to a movie, where she shares chocolates with a fellow audience member. When the movie is over, she gets on the train to go home, wishing it would never stop, not wanting to return home and back to the reality of her life. If you were to just go by the action of the story, it would simply be a woman going on a little shopping spree by herself one afternoon.
However, because Kate Chopin includes a lot of Mrs. Sommers's internal dialogue , or her silent conversations with herself, and some details about her past, we readers know that there is more to it than that. First of all, Chopin mentions that Mrs. Sommers had once experienced more luxury and comfort, before she got married. We get the sense that her family has some financial worries and, as a mother, she prioritizes the well-being of her four children over herself.
When she has extra money, she feels a sense of obligation toward her children. As she shops for herself, she seems to recall the earlier times when her life was more comfortable and when she had an identity independent from her family. At the end of the story, she feels ''a powerful longing that the cable car would never stop anywhere, but go on and on with her forever,'' because she knows when she returns home she has to go back to being the dutiful mother and wife, the ''little'' Mrs.
Many of Kate Chopin's stories involve women who are feeling confined by their roles as wife and mother. As she was writing at the turn of the century, many women were becoming more and more aware of gender inequalities and feeling dissatisfaction in the way their own lives and identities became subsumed by their families. Sommers first considers her family but then ultimately treats herself when she finds that she has some extra money.
We learn that she actually enjoyed a higher status and more comfort before she was married, and that she is now burdened with financial stress and four children. After spending a day by herself, she doesn't want to go back. Other Chopin stories such as ''The Awakening'' and ''The Story of an Hour'' also illustrate these themes and feature women who are, at best, ambivalent about their role as wife and mother, and, at worst, so tortured by the conflict between social expectations and their own desires that they are driven to suicide.
Sommers's life when she finds that she has an extra fifteen dollars to spend. While she spends a lot of time thinking about spending it on her children, she ultimately spends it on herself; purchasing the pair of silk stockings is the first thing that sets the rest of her spree in motion. She buys herself several nice pieces of clothing, a delicious lunch, and takes herself to a movie. At the end of the story she gets on a cable car to go home, but wishes the ride would never end because she has enjoyed the day, thinking of herself and being independent from her family.
Sommers's internal dialogue indicates that she feels burdened by her family's financial troubles and her four children; she remembers a more comfortable life before she was married.
This resentful feeling toward being a wife and mother, particularly during this time period of more extreme gender inequality, is a recurring theme in Kate Chopin's work. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Create your account. Already a member? Log In. Already registered? Log in here for access.
Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Log in. Sign Up. Explore over 4, video courses. Find a degree that fits your goals.
Try it risk-free for 30 days. Save Save Save. Want to watch this again later? The lesson goes on to analyze the major themes in the story that are recurring throughout Kate Chopin's work. Story Summary Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly in possession of money and felt paralyzed with indecision about how to spend it? Analysis If you were to just go by the action of the story, it would simply be a woman going on a little shopping spree by herself one afternoon.
Author Kate Chopin wrote about women who were growing dissatisfied with their gender roles at the turn of the 20th century. Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Themes Many of Kate Chopin's stories involve women who are feeling confined by their roles as wife and mother. Register to view this lesson Are you a student or a teacher? I am a student I am a teacher. Unlock Your Education See for yourself why 30 million people use Study. Become a Member Already a member?
What teachers are saying about Study. Earning Credit. Earning College Credit Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page Transferring credit to the school of your choice Not sure what college you want to attend yet?
Browse Articles By Category Browse an area of study or degree level. Area of Study. Degree Level. Traditional GED Classes. You are viewing lesson Lesson 1 in chapter 19 of the course:. The Short Stories of Guy de Studying The Lady or the Tiger. The Short Stories of Washington The Short Stories of Saki. The Short Stories of Katherine The Short Stories of Anton Studying Desiree's Baby.
Studying The Bride Comes to Yellow Studying The Yellow Wallpaper. Ch Studying The Brass Teapot. Studying Death by Scrabble. The Short Stories of Arthur Conan The Short Stories of Joseph The Short Stories of Jack London. The Short Stories of Edith The Short Stories of Ambrose Short Stories by Genre. The Short Stories of Kate Chopin. The Short Stories of Edgar Allan
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Summary, Theme & Analysis
Published in , the story follows Mrs. Sommers who prefers spending a windfall on herself, rather than on her children. After a few days of reflection, she decides to use the money to purchase clothing for her children so they may look "fresh and dainty and new for once in their lives. Sommers had been before her marriage a wealthy woman, but now "needs of the present absorbed her every faculty.
A Pair of Silk Stockings
Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Have you ever found yourself unexpectedly in possession of money and felt paralyzed with indecision about how to spend it? Should you save it? Spend it on several small things or one big thing? Something fun or something sensible? Sometimes the options are so overwhelming that you end up not spending the money at all, or you spend it on something totally random.