Literary Analysis of “Regret” by Kate Chopin
The short story Regret written by Kate Chopin is very didactic. It brings out the theme of regret. The writer wanted to tell her readers about the importance of acting early enough to avoid remorse later. Anyone who fails to adopt a plan in life will at one point suffer the consequences of not planning. From this short story, it is clear that failure to implement an effective plan will result in regrets in the future. Kate’s Regret short story has a deep meaning to its audience. It serves as a wake-up call telling it to take the opportunity to do something now before it will be too late to change something. It indicates that the point of regret is not a joy and that it comes at a time when the results are irreversible. The story shows that remorse is unavoidable if one fails to plan. The story means that anyone who finds himself or herself regretting must have failed to do something crucial at one point.
In order to explain her point, the writer has used the plot to bring out the theme of regret and the meaning of the text. Mamzelle is comfortably living alone with no family. According to her, she did not need anything else to make her life enjoyable. Though Mamzelle had shown comfort earlier, she is seen regretting after the children were taken away. Mamzelle did not make plans to have a family and children and that is why she ended up regretting.
The author also used the point of view to explain the theme of the story. It shows how the main character gained enough knowledge which made her realize the mistake she had made in her life. The point of view of the story brings meaning because it provides adequate information to warrant regret. The characters Chopin uses in the story are the demonstrators of remorse. For example, Mamzelle has been used to show failure of planning which resulted in regrets while Odile’s children symbolize regret. In conclusion, the characters, literary devices, point of view, and the plot in the short story all work together to show the meaning of the story; regret. They indicate how the main character failed to make plans about family and hence opted for comfort. When she finally started to realize the joy of having children, it was already her fiftieth birthday and she could not bear any child any more. The only option left was to regret her failure.
Chopin, K., & Knights, P. The Awakening and Other Stories. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.