Grand Isle Today

While reading The Awakening I knew I wanted to visit there to see if the magic that
Chopin saw still remains.  As Linda McGovern observes on her
Literary Traveler
website about Kate Chopin, The Awakening and Grand Isle, “Kate Chopin, like
Edna, remained true to her ideals.  Both went against the current of the day.  Just
as Grand Isle is the furthest edge of land, so too did Chopin and Edna take their
position in society.  Grand Isle is a perfect setting of the novel and metaphor for
the way Chopin lived her life.  She took things to the limit, to the edge and
questioned the unquestionable”  
 
Grand Isle remains a resort town in southern Jefferson Parish, but the resorts are a
bit different now.  Instead of focusing on family rest and relaxation, they
concentrate on fishing.  The bell from Catholic church at Chénière now hangs at
Our Lady of the Isle Chapel at Grand Isle.  

After visiting Grand Isle I can understand how Chopin was mesmerized by it.  I
wish I could have gone during the Gilded Age, when Krantz’s Place was open.  I
can only imagine the sights and smells of the time.  I’m sure it was much like a
Utopia or Shangra-La.  We stayed at a Landy House Bed and Breakfast.  It was
wonderfully relaxing with natural beauty surrounding it.  I think this natural
calmness was one of the things that made Grand Isle memorable to Chopin and
allow Edna her awakening.

Landry House at Grand Isle

The State Park on Grand Isle
is a nice, quiet beach to visit.  
There is an observation tower
with a good view of the ocean
and Grand Terre in the
distance.  Even in the spring
the trees and flowers were
beautiful.

Grand Isle State Park

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Grand Isle Homepage
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