Chopin, Kate. "The Kiss".
Miss Nathalie and her husband-to-be, Brantain, sit by the fire. Nathalie is to marry the rather unattractive Brantain for his wealth. A man enters the room and not noticing Brantain, he presses "Nattie" an ardent kiss. Nathalie makes up an excuse to Brantain that the man, Harvy, is her brother's best friend who fancies to be entitled to the same rights as the family.
At the wedding, Harvy approachs Nathalie and tells her her husband has sent him to kiss her. Nathalie is anxious to be kissed but Harvy says she does not kiss women any more. It has proved itself to be dangerous.
Conclusion: "Well, she had Brantain and his million left. A person can't have everything in this world; and it was a little unreasonable of her to expect it."
- a third person narrative, free access to the thoughts of Miss Nathalie
- subject: the necessity of choice frequently forced on women of the time, whether to marry for status or for love
- the story may be seen as a counterpart to Chopin's story "A Pair of Silk Stockings" whose protagonist marries for love, but to a poor man
- Chopin is great in describing feelings, especially negative ones (fear, anger, jealousy, etc.)
- great in penetrating the minds of women, treats the subject with sensitivity and insight
- her stories are mainly concerned with women and targeted at women, but she rarely falls in too much sentimentalism or romanticism
- her stories keep a thought-provoking quality and not always find a happy ending
- her subtle style reminds somewhat of the later British short story writer Katherine Mansfield
AuthorChopin, Kate. (1851 - 1904).
Full Title"The Kiss".
Chopin, Kate. "The Kiss". In: Kate Chopin: Complete Novels and Stories. Ed. Sandra M. Gilbert. NY: Library of America, 2002.