Settings and Meanings in Chopin’s “The Storm” Report (Assessment)

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Jan 31st, 2021

The importance of the setting in reinforcing the plot of “The Storm”

The story is set in two locations: Friedheimer’s store, and Bobinot and Calixta’s house. The author uses the setting to help construct the plot, describe the state of emotion of each of the characters, and provoke a sense of imagination in the reader.

The storm separates Calixta from her husband whom it is assumed did not give her the passion that she longs for. Metaphorically speaking, it can be argued that the storm symbolizes passion and as the storm got intense, so was the passion between Alcee and Calixta “They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms” (Chopin 116). Similarly, as the storm subsided, so was the passion between the two lovers.

“The growl of the thunder was distant and passing away. The rain beat softly on the shingles, inviting them to drowsiness and sleep” (Chopin 116). The passion between the two characters ends exactly when the storm ends and Alcee leaves. Then everything resumes back to normal.

The storm has also been used to rejuvenate the relationship between Calixta and Bobinot, and Alcee and his wife Clarisse. When Bobinot and Bibi returned from the store, Bobinot was unable to recite the apology that he had been composing on their way home “Bobinot’s explanations and apologies which he had been composing all along the way, died on his lips as Calixta felt him see if he was dry, and seem to express nothing but satisfaction at their safe return” (Chopin 117).

The author described Calixta as a worrisome lady and her reaction towards the return of her son and husband was unexpected. Alcee on the other hand went ahead and contacted his wife through a letter that showed how much he cared and had concern for the safety and health of his family.

Meanings in the title of the story

The title of the story has both a literal meaning and a hidden meaning. It may imply the natural storm however the storm has been used symbolically to imply sexual passion between the two main characters, Alcee and Calixta. A few years before the story was told, the two characters had a moment where they both shared their passion for each other although they decided not to marry each other. As the story takes place, it has taken a while since they last saw each other. As they see each other the old times when they share intimacy is being revived and as the first raindrops, everything works out perfectly to revive the passion.

This passion or storm is only witnessed by two characters. As the story begins, Calixta’s husband decides to wait for the storm to subside. In the context of passion, this can imply that he avoids involving himself in passionate affairs with his wife even though it is very clear that the wife enjoys passionate sexual intimacy (Faust 34). It can also be argued that the title is symbolically a feminine passion. The title is from a natural phenomenon and nature is generally known as feminine.

Before the storm comes, Calixta is consciously unaware of it and her focus was on sewing. It hits her that once the room gets dark. This would suggest that there are things in her present life that suppress her sexuality and her passion; her marriage is among them (Harold 23).

This may be considered to a superficial meaning of the title, however deeper inside, the title had as used since during the late nineteenth century, sex was a topic that was hardly talked about candidly (Elliott 12). By covering it in such a title it helped create standards and restraints.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. “Introduction.” Modern Critical Views: Kate Chopin. Ed. Harold Bloom. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Chopin, Kate. “The Storm.” The Short Story: An Introduction To Short Fiction. Ed. J. Dennielle True. New York: Pearson, 2011. 113-117.

Elliott, Emory, ed. The Columbia History of the American Novel. New York: Columbia UP, 1991.

Faust, Langdon Lynn. American Women Writers. New York: Inger. 1983.

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