Consortium Response #6: Fiction

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  Mr. Lyon on Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:26 am

For this assignment, please read the short story "Regret" by author Kate Chopin. The story can be found after this assignment and at this link: http://www.americanliterature.com/author/kate-chopin/short-story/regret

After reading, please post a thoughtful response in which you explore Chopin's use of dialogue, details, description, and word choice in painting a picture of Mamzelle Aurlie. What techniques does she use to make Aurlie come to life? Are these techniques ultimately successful? How does this character's depiction help Chopin arrive at a universal theme?

Remember to follow the rules of forum posting as set on our class website under the tab "Creative Consortium." You must post an original response of your own AND two replies to two classmates' responses in order to receive full credit for this assignment. DO NOT CREATE NEW TOPICS WHEN RESPONDING TO THIS PROMPT; simply respond WITHIN this topic.

DUE DATE/TIME: Friday, April 12 (responses must be posted no later than 8:00 AM)

----------------

MAMZELLE AURLIE possessed a good strong figure, ruddy cheeks, hair that was changing from brown to gray, and a determined eye. She wore a man's hat about the farm, and an old blue army overcoat when it was cold, and sometimes top-boots.

Mamzelle Aurlie had never thought of marrying. She had never been in love. At the age of twenty she had received a proposal, which she had promptly declined, and at the age of fifty she had not yet lived to regret it.

So she was quite alone in the world, except for her dog Ponto, and the negroes who lived in her cabins and worked her crops, and the fowls, a few cows, a couple of mules, her gun (with which she shot chicken-hawks), and her religion.

One morning Mamzelle Aurlie stood upon her gallery, contemplating, with arms akimbo, a small band of very small children who, to all intents and purposes, might have fallen from the clouds, so unexpected and bewildering was their coming, and so unwelcome. They were the children of her nearest neighbor, Odile, who was not such a near neighbor, after all.

The young woman had appeared but five minutes before, accompanied by these four children. In her arms she carried little Lodie; she dragged Ti Nomme by an unwilling hand; while Marcline and Marclette followed with irresolute steps.

Her face was red and disfigured from tears and excitement. She had been summoned to a neighboring parish by the dangerous illness of her mother; her husband was away in Texas -- it seemed to her a million miles away; and Valsin was waiting with the mule-cart to drive her to the station.

"It's no question, Mamzelle Aurlie; you jus' got to keep those youngsters fo' me tell I come back. Dieu sait, I wouldn' botha you with 'em if it was any otha way to do! Make 'em mine you, Mamzelle Aurlie; don' spare 'em. Me, there, I'm half crazy between the chil'ren, an' Lon not home, an' maybe not even to fine po' maman alive encore!" -- a harrowing possibility which drove Odile to take a final hasty and convulsive leave of her disconsolate family.

She left them crowded into the narrow strip of shade on the porch of the long, low house; the white sunlight was beating in on the white old boards; some chickens were scratching in the grass at the foot of the steps, and one had boldly mounted, and was stepping heavily, solemnly, and aimlessly across the gallery. There was a pleasant odor of pinks in the air, and the sound of negroes' laughter was coming across the flowering cotton-field.

Mamzelle Aurlie stood contemplating the children. She looked with a critical eye upon Marcline, who had been left staggering beneath the weight of the chubby Lodie. She surveyed with the same calculating air Marclette mingling her silent tears with the audible grief and rebellion of Ti Nomme. During those few contemplative moments she was collecting herself, determining upon a line of action which should be identical with a line of duty. She began by feeding them.

If Mamzelle Aurlie's responsibilities might have begun and ended there, they could easily have been dismissed; for her larder was amply provided against an emergency of this nature. But little children are not little pigs: they require and demand attentions which were wholly unexpected by Mamzelle Aurlie, and which she was ill prepared to give.

She was, indeed, very inapt in her management of Odile's children during the first few days. How could she know that Marclette always wept when spoken to in a loud and commanding tone of voice? It was a peculiarity of Marclette's. She became acquainted with Ti Nomme's passion for flowers only when he had plucked all the choicest gardenias and pinks for the apparent purpose of critically studying their botanical construction.

"'T ain't enough to tell 'im, Mamzelle Aurlie," Marcline instructed her; "you got to tie 'im in a chair. It's w'at maman all time do w'en he's bad: she tie 'im in a chair." The chair in which Mamzelle Aurlie tied Ti Nomme was roomy and comfortable, and he seized the opportunity to take a nap in it, the afternoon being warm.

At night, when she ordered them one and all to bed as she would have shooed the chickens into the hen-house, they stayed uncomprehending before her. What about the little white nightgowns that had to be taken from the pillow-slip in which they were brought over, and shaken by some strong hand till they snapped like ox-whips? What about the tub of water which had to be brought and set in the middle of the floor, in which the little tired, dusty, sun-browned feet had every one to be washed sweet and clean? And it made Marcline and Marclette laugh merrily -- the idea that Mamzelle Aurlie should for a moment have believed that Ti Nomme could fall asleep without being told the story of Croque-mitaine or Loup-garou, or both; or that lodie could fall asleep at all without being rocked and sung to.

"I tell you, Aunt Ruby," Mamzelle Aurlie informed her cook in confidence; "me, I'd rather manage a dozen plantation' than fo' chil'ren. It's terrassent! Bont! don't talk to me about chil'ren!"

"T ain' ispected sich as you would know airy thing 'bout 'em, Mamzelle Aurlie. I see dat plainly yistiddy w'en I spy dat li'le chile playin' wid yo' baskit o' keys. You don' know dat makes chillun grow up hard-headed, to play wid keys? Des like it make 'em teeth hard to look in a lookin'-glass. Them's the things you got to know in the raisin' an' manigement o' chillun."

Mamzelle Aurlie certainly did not pretend or aspire to such subtle and far-reaching knowledge on the subject as Aunt Ruby possessed, who had "raised five an' buried six" in her day. She was glad enough to learn a few little mother-tricks to serve the moment's need.

Ti Nomme's sticky fingers compelled her to unearth white aprons that she had not worn for years, and she had to accustom herself to his moist kisses -- the expressions of an affectionate and exuberant nature. She got down her sewing-basket, which she seldom used, from the top shelf of the armoire, and placed it within the ready and easy reach which torn slips and buttonless waists demanded. It took her some days to become accustomed to the laughing, the crying, the chattering that echoed through the house and around it all day long. And it was not the first or the second night that she could sleep comfortably with little Lodie's hot, plump body pressed close against her, and the little one's warm breath beating her cheek like the fanning of a bird's wing.

But at the end of two weeks Mamzelle Aurlie had grown quite used to these things, and she no longer complained.

It was also at the end of two weeks that Mamzelle Aurlie, one evening, looking away toward the crib where the cattle were being fed, saw Valsin's blue cart turning the bend of the road. Odile sat beside the mulatto, upright and alert. As they drew near, the young woman's beaming face indicated that her home-coming was a happy one.

But this coming, unannounced and unexpected, threw Mamzelle Aurlie into a flutter that was almost agitation. The children had to be gathered. Where was Ti Nomme? Yonder in the shed, putting an edge on his knife at the grindstone. And Marcline and Marclette? Cutting and fashioning doll-rags in the corner of the gallery. As for Lodie, she was safe enough in Mamzelle Aurlie's arms; and she had screamed with delight at sight of the familiar blue cart which was bringing her mother back to her.

THE excitement was all over, and they were gone. How still it was when they were gone! Mamzelle Aurlie stood upon the gallery, looking and listening. She could no longer see the cart; the red sunset and the blue-gray twilight had together flung a purple mist across the fields and road that hid it from her view. She could no longer hear the wheezing and creaking of its wheels. But she could still faintly hear the shrill, glad voices of the children.

She turned into the house. There was much work awaiting her, for the children had left a sad disorder behind them; but she did not at once set about the task of righting it. Mamzelle Aurlie seated herself beside the table. She gave one slow glance through the room, into which the evening shadows were creeping and deepening around her solitary figure. She let her head fall down upon her bended arm, and began to cry. Oh, but she cried! Not softly, as women often do. She cried like a man, with sobs that seemed to tear her very soul. She did not notice Ponto licking her hand.
avatar
Mr. Lyon
Admin

Posts : 12
Join date : 2013-01-25

View user profile http://creativeconsortium.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  llamasarecool on Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:13 pm

Mamzelle Aurlie, as described by Kate Chopin, is at first, a middle aged, alone, and dull woman. She lives in the 1800's. This is clear because words like "Negroes...in the cotton field" and also the fact that her aunt had 11 children and only 5 of them lived. Many babies died in the 1800's because conditions were awful. In the beginning, she doesn't regret a thing that she ever did, like never getting married or having children. When Mamzelle is talking to her aunt about how hard it is to take care of the children, it shows that she is and has been lonely for a long time. Also when Chopin tells us that she wears work clothes, it shows us that she owns a cotton field and has slaves. At the end, she regrets a lot of the choices she has made in her life now that the children are gone because now everything is quite and she liked it better when there were other people there to keep her company.

@scribbledskies thanks! And I like how you tied in the fact that she thinks she is tough, but at the end, her actions show us otherwise.


Last edited by llamasarecool on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

llamasarecool

Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  scribbledskies on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:59 pm

The overall theme in Chopin's short story has been seen before but it is still very touching and probably original when it was written. It is the tough-guy (or woman, in this case) thinking s/he is strong and independent on his/her own and doesn't need anybody, when these children come in and warm her heart and make her feel regret after their absence. At first she doesn't want to take care of the children and listen to their noisiness and wild emotions. She just wants her life to be the same it's always been. But of course by the end she is very sad to see them go, for they brought a life to her house that was not there before. The details of Aurlie's physical appearance in the first lines of the story paint a picture of her in your head, of the kind of person she seems to be. She is tough and sturdy and strong, described as manlike in the beginning and the end, only in the end her "manlike" sobs are undesirable.

@ llamasarecool I agree Aurlie talking to her aunt shows how she's been lonely for a long time

scribbledskies

Posts : 9
Join date : 2013-02-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  sadie24 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:29 pm

[quote="llamasarecool"]Mamzelle Aurlie, as described by Kate Chopin, is at first, a middle aged, alone, and dull woman. She lives in the 1800's. This is clear because words like "Negroes...in the cotton field" and also the fact that her aunt had 11 children and only 5 of them lived. Many babies died in the 1800's because conditions were awful. In the beginning, she doesn't regret a thing that she ever did, like never getting married or having children. When Mamzelle is talking to her aunt about how hard it is to take care of the children, it shows that she is and has been lonely for a long time. Also when Chopin tells us that she wears work clothes, it shows us that she owns a cotton field and has slaves. At the end, she regrets a lot of the choices she has made in her life now that the children are gone because now everything is quite and she liked it better when there were other people there to keep her company.

@scribbledskies thanks! And I like how you tied in the fact that she thinks she is tough, but at the end, her actions show us otherwise.[/quote]

I agree with your thoughts on the story! The ending definitely shows her regrets.. such as thinking that she is better off alone.

sadie24

Posts : 18
Join date : 2013-03-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  sadie24 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:31 pm

[quote="scribbledskies"]The overall theme in Chopin's short story has been seen before but it is still very touching and probably original when it was written. It is the tough-guy (or woman, in this case) thinking s/he is strong and independent on his/her own and doesn't need anybody, when these children come in and warm her heart and make her feel regret after their absence. At first she doesn't want to take care of the children and listen to their noisiness and wild emotions. She just wants her life to be the same it's always been. But of course by the end she is very sad to see them go, for they brought a life to her house that was not there before. The details of Aurlie's physical appearance in the first lines of the story paint a picture of her in your head, of the kind of person she seems to be. She is tough and sturdy and strong, described as manlike in the beginning and the end, only in the end her "manlike" sobs are undesirable.

@ llamasarecool I agree Aurlie talking to her aunt shows how she's been lonely for a long time[/quote]

You had the same ideas as me when it came to this story! You read my mind! Nice response.

sadie24

Posts : 18
Join date : 2013-03-03

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  gbs13 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:27 pm

In Chopin’s short story she comes right out and visually describes Mamzelle Aurlie when she says she “…possessed a good strong figure, ruddy cheeks, hair that was changing from brown to gray, and a determined eye.” This really gave the reader a picture in their mind to help them especially since this was the first sentence in the story. Once her actions are described you start to really see her personality show. Mamzelle’s first reaction to the children in the beginning is that they are bothersome and out of control. This detail made it stand out more in the end when it says “…the children had left a sad disorder behind them; but she did not at once set about the task of righting it.” This is unusual for Mamzelle and the way she lives, and then she also cries after, which told me that as much as she tells herself she doesn’t want anyone she really doesn’t want to be alone either. Another thing that I really liked was the dialect that was used. It felt very realistic and true to the time that I felt was being described and helped you put yourself in the story better.

gbs13

Posts : 25
Join date : 2013-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Responding to llamasarecool

Post  gbs13 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:29 pm

I liked your response a lot. I thought that it was nice how you included the details about what made you think that it was in the 1800’s. I also liked how you talked about her conversation with her aunt and what it really meant. Lots of good ideas, good job!

gbs13

Posts : 25
Join date : 2013-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Responding to scribbledskies

Post  gbs13 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:30 pm

I really liked your response. I liked how you talked about the appearance of Mamzelle, and how her “manliness” has changed from a tough-guy vibe at the beginning to manly sobs which show how her heart has softened from the children’s stay. Nice job!

gbs13

Posts : 25
Join date : 2013-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  jemoria on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:26 pm

Mamzelle Aurlie lived a life of simplicity. She was a strong tough women. Chopin shows Mamzelles "toughness" or strength with the clothes that she wears and the physical description of her. Chopin describes Mamzelle's clothing saying that she "wore a man's hat about the farm, and an old blue army overcoat when it was cold, and sometimes top-boots." Not typical of a women. Mamzelle also had never been in love or never thought of marrying and was "quite alone in the world." Chopin paints a picture of an alone women in a big farm living on her own. But this women by her descripition is tough and can handle it. In fact, one gets the sense that Mamzelle likes to live alone with ehr slaves and have no husband or children. It is told as if Mamzelle has no regrets. The description of a lonely person who feels as though she's not missing out helps to bring out the universal them of love. Mamzelle doesn't know what it's like to love someone until she meets the children. The universal theme comes out that everybody has room to love and yearns to love, even if they don't show it on the outside.

jemoria

Posts : 27
Join date : 2013-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Responding to scribbledskies

Post  jemoria on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:40 pm

I completely agree with your points and ideas! I basically had the same ones. My only correction would be to include more quotes to better enhance and prove your points. Great job!

jemoria

Posts : 27
Join date : 2013-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Responding to llamasarecool

Post  jemoria on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:45 pm

I liked how you included a date in the begging. I personally didn't put a time frame on the story but thinking about it now I would agree with your estimate! I liked how you included the conversation with the aunt but I would have liked it better if you had used quotes. Good job!

jemoria

Posts : 27
Join date : 2013-02-04

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  DTMF on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:46 pm

Mamzelle Aurlie is at first portrayed as a simple woman who liked life just the way it was without any extra "distractions." As the story progresses however, Mamzelle Aurlie comes to realize exactly why children are so precious and fun to have around. This changes her, and fills her with regret. The use of dialect in this story also gives personality to the characters. Chopin uses dialect to relate to what farmers or even southern folk talk like to give a sense of realism to the story.

DTMF

Posts : 15
Join date : 2013-01-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

reply to jemoria

Post  DTMF on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:49 pm

i think another theme in this story could be that it is better to have had love and lost it than to never have had love at all. I know, extremely cliche but it works. overall, nice response!

DTMF

Posts : 15
Join date : 2013-01-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

response to gbs13

Post  DTMF on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:52 pm

I also think that at the end where it says Mamzelle Aurlie was licked by Ponto, her dog, is also important. mamzelle aurlie is obviously loved by her dog, however, she never returns the gesture because all she can think about is the children. I think your response was good though.

DTMF

Posts : 15
Join date : 2013-01-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  TeamDizzieKappa19 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:54 pm

This is a story about growth. This is a story of a woman who has never thought of herself as lonely, getting a glimpse of life with a family, and her realizing that while you might not always like them, family is always loved. As for descriptions about the character, Mamzelle Aurlie is summarized perfectly in the two sentences of the first paragraph. It says that her hair is turning gray, which means that she is past her prime, and most likely very old for the time period in which she lived, and it says that she wore a man's hat which brings up a few important facts in just three words. This tells us that she is unmarried and does the actual field work instead of just the "womanly" work. At the very end, when Mamzelle Aurlie is crying "like a man", it is a parallel with the beginning. The author also uses her dialogue as a way to put Mamzelle Aurlie in her place socially. She speaks very roughly and in an uncivilized manner which lets the reader know that she is not high up in the social class system.

Response to llamasarecool:
I love the references to history and how you figured out when she lived and when this story took place, I think that was really cool, but I wish you had spoke about how the words made Mamzelle Aurlie seem and how she was as a person. You also called her a dull woman, and I don't think that's true. I think that it is impossible to be interesting to us now, but I think that at the time, a woman who was unmarried, and dressed and worked like a man would have been very interesting.

Response to scribbledskies:
I love the generalization of theme and how you connected this story to so many others, but I think that you could have been a bit more specific and add more details, also in your mention of Mamzelle Aurlie as a person, you only talked about her appearance instead of who she was as a person. Also, real quick, Mamzelle Aurlie was not talking to her Aunt, she was talking to her cook who was most likely an older black woman, so "Aunt" is used here more as a term of endearment rather than a show of familial relations.

TeamDizzieKappa19

Posts : 12
Join date : 2013-02-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  Kingoflizard on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:51 pm

Mamzelle is a young woman who (I think) Lives in the the early 1800's because there are slaves and "Aunt" who is a cook for Mamzelle. She deffinately feels regret at the end when the kids leave and instead of doing chores that the kids left behind, she just cries. I like how Mamzelle's attention is never on her dog because of the children; yet in the end when the dog licks her hand, her attention is not taken away by the children because they are gone but also not set on the dog because she still is thinking about the children. I really like how, at the end, Mamzelle is described as a man and she kind of acts like one throughout the story with her dialogue.
avatar
Kingoflizard

Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-02-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Response to DTMF

Post  Kingoflizard on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:54 pm

[quote="DTMF"]i think another theme in this story could be that it is better to have had love and lost it than to never have had love at all. I know, extremely cliche but it works. overall, nice response![/quote]

I agree completely with you, that's what I also thought the theme could be.
avatar
Kingoflizard

Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-02-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Response to gbs13

Post  Kingoflizard on Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:59 pm

[quote="gbs13"]I really liked your response. I liked how you talked about the appearance of Mamzelle, and how her “manliness” has changed from a tough-guy vibe at the beginning to manly sobs which show how her heart has softened from the children’s stay. Nice job![/quote]

I like your response, I agree with the whole "Manliness" changed but I think she sort of always showed her manliness througout the story even to the end, but I can see how you say she is softened

avatar
Kingoflizard

Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-02-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  31544 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:12 pm

Chopin uses a good deal of both direct and indirect characterization to make Aurlie a rounded character. His direct characterization, showing her to be old, somewhat manly, and unmarried, living her life alone on a farm, subtly shows a kind of deep-set loneliness, or at least numbness, the sort that comes of never having felt pain. When Aurlie's neighbor comes to give Aurlie her children, there is a clash of distinct mindsets; one emotional and excitable, one cool and rational. Aurlie's opinion of her neighbor is only implied, but it is likely far from complementary. The children she clearly does not want, as she describes their coming as "unwelcome". She attempts to take care of them as she would an animal; by simply feeding them. But her isolation has left her with none of the tool necessary for completing such a task so mechanically, and she is forced to struggle to keep them well.

avatar
31544

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Response to TeamDizzieKappa19

Post  31544 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:17 pm

I very much agree. Chopin implied a great deal of his characterization; you could certainly get a lot out of even a few sentences. Aurlie also seems to have become used to living her life in a very mechanical manner, evinced by her early attempts with the children.
avatar
31544

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  31544 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:20 pm

[color=red]I like how Mamzelle's attention is never on her dog because of the children; yet in the end when the dog licks her hand, her attention is not taken away by the children because they are gone but also not set on the dog because she still is thinking about the children[/color]

Not entirely sure what that is supposed to imply... like, cool story, bro. Is there any elaboration available?
avatar
31544

Posts : 22
Join date : 2013-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Consortium Response #6: Fiction

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum