A Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin

Essay by PuterBDCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2005

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

When Mrs. Baroda had learned that her husband's friend would be coming to stay for a few weeks she was a bit agitated. From hearing all the stories her husband had told about the man who would be staying with them, she was expecting to meet someone who she would not like. Instead, Gouvernail was a man very much unlike what she had expected. In fact, she rather liked him when they had first met. In A Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin the relationship between Mrs. Baroda and Gouvernail is the focal point of the story. Chopin explores this relationship, and eventually leads to the conclusion that in the next meeting between Mrs. Baroda and Gouvernail the relationship between the two will become much more intimate.

At their first meeting, Mrs. Baroda had quite liked Gouvernail. She became vexed by him only after he "made no direct appeal to her approval or even esteem."

From what her husband Gaston had told her, Gouvernail was a bright man with a lot of potential. Mrs. Baroda saw none of this potential from Gouvernail and so she gave up. She was generally confused by his behavior, and wished he was more like other guests that she had housed. With this confusion, Mrs. Baroda decided to leave her home and head to the city until Gouvernail had officially left. At this point Mrs. Baroda has mixed feelings for Gouvernail. She wants to like him, but his actions prevent her from doing so.

The night before Mrs. Baroda was to leave for the city, she had a chance encounter with Gouvernail while sitting on a bench under her oak tree. Gouvernail was simply sent out by Mrs. Baroda's husband to give her a scarf, but this ends up becoming the turning point of...