Hear From Her Admirers
NARRATOR: While Chopin received many critical letters about her work, she also received complimentary mail�.like this:
Dear Mrs. Chopin:
I have just finished The Awakening. Never before has a story affected me so profoundly. It is a powerful novel: intensely dramatic and awfully sad. I read at intervals with increasing interest and enjoyment until I reached the twenty-first chapter, and at that point my interest became totally engaged; I got so completely engrossed, so absorbed that I could not put the book by until I had finished it.
It is a fine story and stirring and full of interest throughout.I congratulate you with all my heart upon the splendid ability you have shown in the story. Nothing that I can say will adequately express my enthusiastic admiration for it; the quiet humor, the pleasing descriptions; the dramatic situations; the analysis of character and feeling and the consummate skill generally with which the story is constructed.
Truly in gifted hands like yours, the pen is mightier than the sword. I was bitterly grieved at the tragic ending. I had hoped for a different denouement. Tremendous interest in Edna's fate is aroused in those absorbing closing chapters�expectancy is at fever heat and I was hopeful of the usual happy outcome; instead the end is a crushing, cruel, bitter disappointment. The pathos of it all is overpowering; the impression is painfully sweet and sad. It is heart breaking. I have been deeply stirred and strangely fascinated with the story today. There is no end to my admiration of your undoubted genius. I thank you cordially for sending me the book, and assure you that your chapter impressed me highly.
One sentence in the powerful twenty-first chapter impressed me mightily: "to be an artist includes much, one must possess many gifts�absolute gifts�which have not been acquired by ones own effort."
So I have thought today, one capable of writing stories like your's is wonderfully gifted above the balance of us, and is worthy of all possible praise and success. I hope that a full measure of both may be yours.
With best wishes.
Truly and gratefully yours,
R. E. Lee Gibson
Dear Mrs. Chopin:
I have just finished the last chapter of The Awakening and I can thank you for the pleasure the story has given me. I think it is the most delicate�artistic.
I call it a moral tale rather than an immoral one, but I think the moral is a deep one. The book is a sermon against un-natural-ness and Edna's marriage�as I understand it.
I think there is very little in it to offend anybody. Wish you lots of luck with it.
Chopin scholars say she appreciated any words of encouragement she received in light of her many critics. By then, Chopin was at one of the lowest points in her life.