Literature is often used as a devise to express opinions and ideas that are socially unacceptable. Many authors have been ahead of their times when writing works that defy the socially accepted ideas of the era. One such author is Kate Chopin, a woman who lived in the nineteenth century and wrote about women being liberated emotionally, physically and sexually.
Katherine O"Flaherty was born in St. Louis on February 8, 1850 to an Irish immigrant father and a French Creole mother (Classicnotes 1). Her childhood was not very well documented, and little is known about her family life aside from death and births in the family. Chopin was enrolled in the Academy of the Sacred Heart at the age of 5. Shortly thereafter her father, Thomas O"Flaherty, was killed in a railroad accident. At this point, Chopin was taken out of the Sacred Heart School to study under her great-grandmother out of their home. Chopin showed an interest in writing to her great-grandmother, Victoire Verdon Charleville, who encouraged her to pursue it. After Charleville's death in 1863, Chopin returned to the Academy of the Sacred Heart but continued writing. Her first known writing is a journal she named the Commonplace Book, which she wrote in through-out her young life.
On June 9, 1870, Kate O"Flaherty married Oscar Chopin of Louisiana in St. Louis. After a three month European honeymoon, the newlywed Chopin's returned to New Orleans, Chopin's new home, and shortly thereafter on May 22, 1871, she gave birth to her first child, a son. Five other children followed: four boys and one girl. Soon after the birth of her fifth child in 1878, Chopin and her family moved to Cloutierville, Louisiana. Just when Oscar Chopin's business began to prosper on December 10, 1882 he passed away. By mid-1884, Chopin and her family had back to St. Louis. Although she is not known for music, her first published and recognized piece of work came in 1888 when Chopin published the "Lilia Polka" (Toth 84).