In Chapter 17 of The Awakening by Kate Chopin, my text said

He greatly valued his possessions, chiefly because they were his, and derived genuine pleasure from contemplating a painting, a statuette, a rare lace curtain—no matter what—after he had bought it and placed it among his household goods.

However, on the worksheet, my teacher replaced the word "goods" at the end of the sentence with "gods." Which word did Chopin originally intend it to be?

Here is the one in the book: enter image description here

And here is the one on the worksheet: enter image description here

  • Sorry for the images not rotated properly. Dec 6, 2019 at 1:36
  • 1
    I think it's probably impossible to say for sure, since she died nearly 70 years ago, but people might be able to post copies of the relevant excerpt from the original printing of the novel.
    – nick012000
    Dec 6, 2019 at 2:22
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    Google found at least nine transcriptions that said "gods" and only one that said "goods". Of course, there's no way of knowing which was copied from which, so either one could be an OCR error. But this link appears to have an image from the book: en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:The_Awakening_-_Kate_Chopin.djvu/…
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 6, 2019 at 3:19
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    It could still possibly be a printing error. While it would actually work in a sentence (wherein the author is implying the person values their possessions so much as to deify them), it doesn't seem to fit in the tone of the surrounding sentences. Dec 6, 2019 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


Given the sentence structure, and the sentence itself, it would be far more logical to assume it was household goods, since those are a thing. Whereas household gods makes no sense whatsoever?

That is also the topic of the paragraph in its entirety, throughout the passage it refers consistently to types of "household goods".

As such I believe it should be 'goods'.

The fact that the original images appear to show it as 'Gods' makes one think that it was either not in fact the original, or perhaps a mistake on the original.

What are considered household goods? Household goods are goods and products used within households. They are the tangible and movable personal property placed in the living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, family rooms, great rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, recreation rooms, hallways, attics, and basements and other rooms of a house.


It can be household Gods/ deities too. Ref https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_deity The concept of family deities is prevalent in India.

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    Its set in America. New Orleans, according to the text. Seems unlikely that it would be referring to Indian household gods, given that no mention of religion or deity takes place anywhere else in the passage.
    – RustyUK
    Dec 6, 2019 at 5:25
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    The ancient Romans had household gods too - [Lares et Penates](www.mythencyclopedia.com/Iz-Le/Lares-and-Penates.html), making the expression a familiar one to English speakers when all educated people studied the classics. Dec 6, 2019 at 9:26

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