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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin
Print Kate Chopin Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.87

     challenging words:    bicultural, Gosse, hemorrhage, following, predecessor, emergence, anthology, obstetrician, criticism, manuscript, emancipation, largely, feminism, diversity, unwilling, writing
     content words:    Kate Chopin, Eliza O'Flaherty, Louis Academy, Sacred Heart, Civil War, Mary Philomena, Life Fable, Oscar Chopin, New Orleans, Although Chopin

Kate Chopin
By Jamie Kee

1     Kate Chopin, an American author of short stories and novels, was a predecessor of the 20th century feminist authors. She was born Catherine (Kate) O'Flaherty on February 8, 1850, to parents Thomas and Eliza O'Flaherty. Chopin's father came from Ireland, but her mother, who originated in St. Louis, had a French background. Kate, therefore, grew up bilingual and bicultural, speaking both English and French. This diversity is noticeable in Chopin's writings.
2     During the years between 1855 and 1868, Chopin attended the St. Louis Academy of the Sacred Heart, with the exception of a year at the Academy of the Visitation. Chopin's father, a successful businessman, was a great influence in Chopin's life and encouraged her interests. Sadly, on November 1, 1855, Chopin's father died in a train accident.
3     Because of her father's death, Chopin was raised by three strong women: her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. During her teenage years, the Civil War was taking place. Chopin's family lived in St. Louis where those in the area supported the North, yet her family supported the South. Her family even had slaves when she was growing up. In 1863 Chopin's great-grandmother died, and a month later her half brother, who was a Confederate soldier, died of typhoid fever after he had been captured by the Union soldiers.
4     Pushing on, Chopin continued school at the St. Louis Academy of the Sacred Heart where she eventually graduated at age eighteen. It was at the Academy where a nun named Madam (Mary Philomena) O'Meara first encouraged her to write. Teachers and classmates recognized Kate's skills. After graduating, Kate made her social debut, but it really wasn't what she wanted. She didn't like the parties and balls.
5     During the years between 1867 and 1870, Kate wrote a book containing essays, poems, and diary entries, and she wrote her first story, "Emancipation: A Life Fable," in 1869. When she was twenty-one, Kate married Oscar Chopin of Louisiana in 1870. After a wedding trip, they moved to New Orleans in order for Oscar to set up a business. Chopin violated all the rules for female behavior. She did what she wanted. From 1871 to 1879, Chopin had six children, five sons and a daughter, all by the age of twenty-eight. Oscar's business was unsuccessful, and in 1879, the Chopin family moved back to Oscar's old home in a small Louisiana parish.

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