Monday, May 23, 2011

"A Morning Walk" by Kate Chopin


Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" was the subject of my first Short Story Monday post two years ago. I give it partial credit for renewing my interest in short stories and have been meaning to return to Chopin ever since. Over the weekend, I had a chance to read "A Morning Walk". It was featured as a Library of America's Short Story of the Week last month and originally appeared as "An Easter Day Conversion" in the Criterion (St. Louis) in April, 1897.

The story opens:
Archibald had been up many hours. He had breakfasted, and now he was taking a morning stroll along the village street, which was little other than a high ledge cut into the mountain-side. 
It goes on to give a detailed description of Archibald's physical qualities, as well as the natural surroundings. While walking, he meets a young girl with a bunch of lilies and carries them for her. They eventually arrive at church, and we learn it is Easter morning. To everyone's amazement, Archibald follows the girl into the church, takes a seat, and begins to listen to the sermon.

The words "I am the Resurrection and the Life" are spoken - words Archibald has heard before. The story then ends abruptly with:
It crept into the consciousness of Archibald, sitting there. As he gathered it into his soul a vision of life came with it; the poet’s vision, of the life that is within and the life that is without, pulsing in unison, breathing the harmony of an undivided existence. 
He listened to no further words of the minister. He entered into himself and he preached unto himself a sermon in his own heart, as he gazed from the window through which the song came and where the leafy shadows quivered.
Strange. Apparently, Archibald has had a conversion of sorts. I didn't really like the story and don't know what else to say about it. It can be read here if you are interested.

Short Story Monday is hosted by John Mutford at The Book Mine Set.


7 comments:

  1. Was that header there yesterday? Anyway, it's stunning.

    I haven't read this particular story by Chopin but I do enjoy her Acadian short stories (the few that I've read). Think they're part of Bayou Folk collection? ("The Cadian Ball" and "The Storm" come to mind). Sorry you didn't really enjoy this one.

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  2. Sounds different that's for sure!! I've only read a few of her stories.

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  3. Trish - LOL! Yes, the header has been there for a few weeks now... but with a new baby, you have every reason for not noticing! I haven't written Chopin's stories off just yet. Will look up the ones you've mentioned. Thanks!

    Staci - This is only my second Chopin story, so I'm not quite sure what to make of her. I liked The Awakening, so I'll try a few more...

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  4. I book marked this to read one day soon-I am kind of 50/50 on Chopin

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  5. Mel U - I'll have to read a few more to see if I stay 50/50... will look for the ones Trish has mentioned above.

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  6. This one wasn't included in the Chopin collection I read - it sounds....odd. :)

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  7. Carrie - Definitely odd. I'll need to read a few more before forming an opinion on Chopin's stories!

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