A Night in Acadie
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A Night in Acadie is a collection of short stories by American author Kate Chopin, published in 1897. |The twenty-one short stories in A Night in Acadie, like those of Bayou Folk, take place in the uniquely blended, multicultural Louisiana. Yet unlike Chopin's first collection of short stories, A Night in Acadie reveals a bolder, less traditional treatment of bayou life. For example, ”Athénaïse” is the tale of a young woman who, wearied after a brief two months of marriage, leaves her husband and moves to New Orleans. Athénaïse comes close to having an affair, but her discovery that she is pregnant awakens her passions and results in her return to her husband, Cazeau. In stories like ”Azélie” and ”At Chênière Caminada,” characters embrace an unrestrained, passionate love that often produces irrational decisions or pronounced despair. A Night in Acadie is populated with memorable figures, including the exceedingly lazy Polydore, who fakes a rheumatic attack in order to avoid labor, and the impish Mamouche, who subjects the neighborhood to his mischievous pranks. In the case of these two tricksters, both ultimately prove repentant, thereby restoring order to their society. Chopin's stories also include rather independent, unconventional women, from Mademoiselle Aurélie in ”Regret,” a remarkably contented spinster who is transformed by her two-week encounter with surrogate motherhood, to ”A Matter of Prejudice's” crotchety Madame Carambeau, who is similarly altered by her experiences nursing a sick ”American girl.” Throughout these collected short stories, Chopin examines the emergent tensions between individual desires and the communal good. And in somewhat ambivalent terms, Kate Chopin begins exploring the implications of characters' internal awakenings, a theme that would later induce public moral outrage in response to The Awakening...|Mary Alice Kirkpatrick|
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