Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Kate Chopin's A Pair of Silk Stockings. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Introduction
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Plot Summary
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Detailed Summary & Analysis
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Themes
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Quotes
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Characters
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Symbols
A Pair of Silk Stockings: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Kate Chopin
Historical Context of A Pair of Silk Stockings
Other Books Related to A Pair of Silk Stockings
- Full Title: “A Pair of Silk Stockings”
- When Written: 1896
- Where Written: St. Louis, Missouri
- When Published: 1897 in Vogue Magazine
- Literary Period: Realism
- Genre: Short story, realism, modern feminist literature
- Setting: An unnamed town or city (one big enough to contain a large department store and a theater), probably somewhere in Louisiana, where Chopin set many of her stories.
- Climax: After a chance encounter with a luxurious pair of silk stockings, Mrs. Sommers begins to make rash purchases for herself, spending almost her entire fifteen dollars on clothes, magazines, and an indulgent lunch.
- Antagonist: The sexist societal expectations of working-class women
- Point of View: Third person
Extra Credit for A Pair of Silk Stockings
Mentors and Matriarchs. From the age of five, after her father’s death, Chopin was raised solely by women. The women in her family and her devoted “mammy” (the slave nurse whom her father had bought when he was alive, despite growing condemnation of slavery) both shaped her personality and character, while the nuns at her school and her tutor, Madame Charleville, spearheaded her education.
Writing as Therapy. Chopin struggled with depression after her husband and mother died. It was her obstetrician, Dr. Frederick Kolbenheyer, who encouraged her to start writing, suggesting that it might be therapeutic for her.