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Monday, April 4, 2011

Short Story Analysis: REGRET by Kate Chopin


I. REGRET
By Kate Chopin                                                                                                              

II. SYNOPSIS / SUMMARY
This short story is about Mamzelle Aurelle who is still single at the age of 50. She has never been married; in fact, she has never been in love. She is alone except for her dog named Ponto and her workers who are negroes. One day, her young neighbor Odile has to visit her sick mother, leaving her four children to Mamzelle Aurelle who has never experienced taking care of even one kid. She struggles and complains in watching over them, especially the baby. She pours out her disgust and complaints about the kids to her cook named Aunt Ruby. However, as the days pass, she finds that she actually enjoys caring for them, thus the feeling of emptiness when Odile comes to take them back at the end of two weeks. Soon after they all leave, Mamzelle Aurelle cries so hard, like a man, and she is not even aware that Ponto is already licking her hand.
III. SHORT STORY ELEMENTS

A. CHARACTERS

1. Mamzelle Aurelle – a single 50-year old woman, Protagonist, Developing
2. Odile – the young neighbor who leaves her four kids to Mamzelle Aurelle,  
               Static
3. Elodie, Ti Nomme, Marceline, and Marcellete – the kids, Static
4. Aunt Ruby - Mamzelle Aurelle’s cook, Static

B. PLOT

a)  Introduction

Mamzelle Aurelle is described as a strong-figured woman with ruddy cheeks, hair that is going from brown to gray, and a determined eye.

b)  Rising Action

Odile has to leave her four kids to Mamzelle Aurelle.

c)  Climax

When Mamzelle Aurelle sees the car which Odile is riding, she feels agitated because the kids have to be gathered.


d) Falling action

Mamzelle Aurelle is alone again, although she can still faintly hear the shrill, glad voices of the kids who have just left with their mother Odile.


e)     Denouement

Crying soulfully hard,  Mamzelle Aurelle does not notice Ponto licking her hand.

C. SETTING

a)  place – in the farm


b)  time- in the span of two weeks


c)  weather conditions - fine


d)  social conditions- good

e)  mood or atmosphere – Mamzelle Aurelle is complaining about the kids at first, but becomes accustomed to having them around as the days pass


D. POINT OF VIEW

The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient.

E. LITERARY DEVICES

In my opinion, the literary devices used in this story are Foreshadowing and Symbolism. For Foreshadowing, the title itself, regret, gives the readers a hint of what is going to happen. On the other hand, for Symbolism, the four kids symbolize what Mamzelle Aurelle has been missing all along, making her regret in the end.

F. THEME

For me, the theme Regret oftentimes comes in the end when it is all too late is applicable to this story.

G. CONFLICT

The conflict here is Internal - Man vs. Himself/Herself or Mamzelle Aurelle vs. Herself -  The leading character struggles with himself/herself; with his/her own soul, ideas of right or wrong, physical limitations, choices, etc. --ARV




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