Summary of A Respectable Women by Kate Chopin | Class 12 English Summary

Summary of A Respectable Women by Kate Chopin

Class 12 A Respectable Women (by Kate Chopin) Summary will help you understand the story very easily. Summary of A Respectable Women can also make students capable of answering different types of questions that are asked from this chapter.

In this article, we have only provided the story summary so if you want to get the notes i.e questions answers of a respectable women then you can get it by clicking here (Get Notes).

About the Author 

Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin, original name Katherine O'Flaherty (1851- 1904) was an American novelist and short-story writer. She was born and brought up in St. Louis and lived in New Orleans after getting married to Oscar Chopin. 

Her first novel At Fault appeared in 1890 and the second novel The Awakening in 1899. She wrote more than 100 short stories and among them, 'Disiree's Baby', 'Madame Celestin's Divorce' and 'A Respectable Woman' are more anthologized than others. 

The language in her novels and short stories is full of sexual connotations and her novel The Awakening was condemned for its sexual frankness and the publishers had refrained from publishing it. 

Later after 1950, her works were reinterpreted and she was praised for depicting modern sensibility. The story 'A Respectable Woman' is taken out from her collection The Awakening and Other Short Stories (2005).

Main Plot

The short story 'A Respectable Woman' is structured around the character of Mrs. Baroda and her inner conflict as she finds herself attracted to her husband's friend. The conflict follows the pattern of classical fiction and moves from exposition to rising action and then to climax and resolution.


  1. Mrs. Baroda: Mr. Gaston Baroda's Wife
  2. Gaston Baroda: Mrs. Baroda's Husband 
  3. Gouvernail: Gaston Baroda's College Friend 

Central Theme of the Story 

The story explores the hidden feelings of people, specifically focusing on Mrs. Baroda, the main character. Although she is a respected woman who must follow certain social norms to maintain her husband's status, she secretly desires Gouvernail.

However, she can't express her feelings because it's not allowed in her society. The story shows how people struggle with their personal desires and societal expectations, revealing the complex nature of human emotions and inner conflicts.

A Respectable Women Class 12 Summary 

A Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin was initially published in Vogue Magazine in the year 1894. This story has presented a set on a sugar plantation in Louisiana. This is the story of a woman struggling to understand her desires.

Mrs. Baroda was unhappy to hear about Gouvernail's visit to their plantation. Her husband Gaston's information about Gouvernail made her upset because she had planned to take a rest and converse after their busy winter and mild separation. She hadn't met Gouvernail before and only heard about him through her husband.

Mrs. Baroda unconsciously pictured him to be slim, tall, cynical with eyeglasses and hands into his pockets. She didn't like him in her imagination. When Gouvernail arrived and presented himself, Mrs. Baroda was fascinated by him. But she found him quite different in various aspects. He was quite different from her husband's description. She became quite puzzled and exhausted to find Gouvernail's simple and reserved personality.

Gouvernail behaved quite simply and didn't pay much attention to Mrs. Baroda. Mrs. Baroda found various lacks within him. She also discussed his reserved nature with her husband. She even tried to avoid him but there was no change in Gouvernail's nature. She walked along with him to change his reserved nature.

One night, she was sitting on a bench alone. She planned to leave the plantation for a while. In the meantime, Gouvernail arrived there and sat just beside her. He provided her with a scarf on Gaston's behalf. He started talking about the nighttime, the olden days and his liking for peaceful living. 

Mrs. Baroda found him talkative for the first time. She didn't listen to his words but felt attracted to his voice's tones. She wanted to reach out her hand towards him and touch his face or lips with her sensitive tips of fingers. She wanted to whisper on his cheek. But she controlled herself. 

Her self- dignity of being a respectable woman and wife prevented her doing this great mistake. She stood and left the place. Next, she delighted her husband saying that she had overcome everything and she will treat Gouvernail very nicely the next time.

A Respectable Women Class 12 Summary in Nepali

When reading any story or poem. It is necessary to understand it properly. Unless we understand it properly we won't be able to answer any of the questions. For us, it is easier to understand them in nepali rather than in english. 

So if you want to the summary of 'A Respectable Women' in nepali then you can listen to the audio embedded below. This audio provides you the complete summary of the story and you'll be able to understand the story very easily.

Listen to A Respectable Women Summary

If you have less time then we have provided the features to control the playback speed of the audio. You can easily change the audio speed by clicking the 3 dots given at the right side of the player. You can also download the audio if you want to listen it when you are offline. 

Listening to the a respectable woman summary audio will save your time of searching the summary in YouTube. You'll be able to excess both summary and exercise from this site without going anywhere else.

Analysis & Interpretation

  • The ending of the story is open to interpretation, and it is unclear what Mrs. Baroda means by saying she has "overcome everything."
  • Mrs. Baroda's initial dislike of Gouvernail is a defense mechanism to prevent herself from being tempted by other men, but it fails in Gouvernail's case.
  • Mrs. Baroda is drawn to Gouvernail, partly because of his initial reticence, which she finds intriguing.
  • The ambiguous nature of the story's narration raises questions about whether the narrator is paraphrasing Gouvernail's words or expressing Mrs. Baroda's internal thoughts.
  • Mrs. Baroda is caught between societal expectations and her natural desires, leading to inner confusion and conflict.
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