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“The Storm” by Kate Chopin describes the story of a woman, Calixta, who commits infidelity in the absence of her husband but does not feel guilty about it. The husband, Bobinot, and their son are outside in a famous shop in the village and a heavy storm is about to begin. Calixta is in the house sewing when she realizes that heavy and dark clouds have covered the sky and she is convinced that it is going to rain. She stops sewing and goes out to remove her husband’s clothes on the lines. Alcee, her former lover is riding on a horse and approaches their house (Chopin 94). He stops to greet her and helps her to remove the clothes. Alcee is from a well-off family and he is handsome as well. A serious storm begins and the two take shelter in the house.
Alcee sits next to Calixta as she puts together the piles of clothes she was sewing. She then moves to the window, she notes that it is raining so heavily with thunder and lightening and she starts worrying where her husband and the son could be. As though to give her comfort and to assure her that everything is alright so she should not be worried, Alcee moves to the window and becomes even closer to her and he embraces her. He reminds her of the sweet moments they shared when they were still lovers, the good times they had together and that his love for her is still fresh (Chopin 23). Before she realizes what is happening, Calixta is carried away and she gives in for love. Their love grows as the storm becomes intense and reaches a climax in sex which ends with the storm and Alcee leaves for his home.
Meanwhile, Bobinot buys some shrimps as a gift for his wife from the shop. When the storm decreases, together with his son go home and Calixta gives them a warm welcome as though nothing has happened. She announces that that night they are going to have their favorite meal (Chopin 253). She is happy not because she has received a present but because her sexual desires have been fulfilled. On the other hand, Alcee writes a letter to, Clarisse, his wife to inform her that there is no need for her to come soon; she can stay in Biloxi the longest time she wishes because their happiness was more valued that the anxiety they have when they are separated. Clarisse is happy to receive the letter because she is pretty sure that she has the freedom to choose which kind of life to live when she is away from her husband. The story concludes when every character is happy and contented (Chopin 253).
“The Storm” describes a story that happened in the 1900s; a time when women were supposed to honor their marriages and to be always faithful to their husbands. Calixta however goes against the expected standards of her society and fulfils her sexual desires outside the marriage. She is well aware that this is a taboo but she does not care about the outcome. Therefore as the storm causes damage outside, she also damages her marriage by giving her love to another man (Chopin 132). Nevertheless, nature favors her and things do not come out as expected. The storm stops and the sun brings out the beauty of the earth and everything in it. The marriages of both Alcee and Calixta are nourished and become fresh again. Everything becomes back to normal as if nothing has happens. She prepares supper for her family and when the husband comes back she does not express any feeling of guilty but instead everything moves on as usual (Chopin 253). Thus the main point the author wants to bring out is not the issue of adultery but the courage and fulfillment of self desire that the protagonist portrays. As a woman of her time, she was not tied to traditions instead she did what she pleased in order to live her complete life.
To convey this massage, the author uses both characters and symbols to bring out the plot and the theme of the story. The key characters are pictured to be care free and live a day at a time. They do not plan ahead and their conscious does not warn them if they are about to do something that is wrong. Alcee and Calixta are easily carried away by circumstances and make use of every opportunity that comes their way. The other subsidiary characters have no idea of what is happening behind them. They are not suspicious of anything that their spouses do or say. For instance, Clarisse is told by her husband to extend her period of vacation in Biloxi (Chopin 253). Her husband is telling her this because he has had a love relationship with her former girlfriend and his sexual desires have been fulfilled in her absence. We see her rejoicing without even thinking twice on what the husband would be implying. She does not suspect that something fishy might be happening.
Some of the symbols used are the storm, the sun and the white color that is described in the house. The storm symbolizes destruction; it has come to destroy not only the outside environment but the purity of the marriages as well. These two former lovers enjoy the time they devote to each other during the storm and forget that they are breaking the vows they made on their marriages. After the storm, the sun shines and restores everything. The ground is nourished and everyone is happy at the end of the story; the hearts of these former lovers are contented, Clarisse is happy to have a longer stay and Bobinot and the son are happy to enjoy a nice meal. He color white that is described in the play reflects the pure love that Calixta and Alcee have for each other. As they enter the house, everything in the house is described as white, the bed, the blouse that is put on by Calixta and the sofa on which she lies on (Chopin 114).