The Storm – Kate Chopin

KATE CHOPIN (1850-1904)She was an American author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century. Chopin was born Katherine O’Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri.
Her father, Thomas O’Flaherty, was a successful businessman who had emigrated from Galway, Ireland. Her mother, Eliza Faris, was a well-connected member of the French community in St. Louis. KatherineShe was the third of five children, but her sisters died in infancy and her brothers (from her father’s first marriage) in their early twenties.She was thus the only child to live past the age of twenty-five. After her father’s death in 1855, Chopin developed a close relationship with her mother, grandmother, and her great-grandmother. She also became an avid reader of fairy tales, poetry, and religious allegories, as well as classic and contemporary novels.
REGIONALISM

In literature, regionalism refers to fiction or poetry that focuses on specific features – including characters, dialects, customs, history, and landscape – of a particular region. Kate Chopin is considered to be one of the best US Southern regional writers.
THE STORM
“The Storm” is a short story by the American writer Kate Chopin, written in 1898. It did not appear in print in Chopin’s lifetime; it was published in a volume called “The Complete Works of Kate Chopin” in 1969. The story is set in the late nineteenth century at Friedheimer’s store in Louisiana, and at the nearby house of Calixta and Bobinot.
CHARACTERS

• Bibi: four-year-old son of Calixta and Bobinot
• Calixta: mother of Bibi
• Bobinot: husband of Calixta and father of Bibi.
• Alcee Laballiere: former Calixta’s beau (lover).

THEMES
• The main topic in the story is the sexuality, a topic not publicly discussed in 1898. For this reason, the story was not published during her lifetime. The relationship between Calixta and Alcee holds a degree of passion absent from their marriages. Calixta’s sexuality is directly tied to the storm.
ANALYSIS
The Chinaberry tree being struck by lightning is also representative of Calixta’s sin in a Catholic area, where adultery is considered a sin that is so grave that it sends them to hell unless they repent before they die.
1] [2] This piece was written at a time when faith was beginning to be questioned. The narrator begins by describing Calixta as a worrisome wife, but, after Alcee notices her for the first time in five years, the description shifts to her youthful beauty. Calixta’s husband, the reader assumes, no longer looks at her the way Alcee does. He sees her as a real woman, but she pretends that everything has changes especially after having a child. After the rain stops “the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems. This could symbolize new outlooks on the two lovers’ marriages.The point of view is 3rd person omniscient.
The story also highlights images of purity. White imagery is introduced at the beginning of the second section when Calixta unbuttons her white blouse at the neck. When we see the interior of the house for the first time, the narrator describes the “white, monumental bed. ” When the sexual tension is released, the sexualized purity reaches a climax; her neck, exposed by the act of unbuttoning, is white, and her breasts are “whiter. She is “as white as the couch she lay upon,” and her passion is described as a “white flame. ” Added to this seemingly paradoxical use of white are the references to the Virgin Mary. While Assumption is a place name, it is also the feast that celebrates the bodily ascension of Mary into heaven, a metaphorical description of what has just happened to Calixta, and, to further the connection, “her firm, elastic flesh” is compared to a “creamy lily.
” The lily is Mary’s flower.
SYMBOLISM
The Storm The storm is a super obvious symbol. It’s involved in practically every element of the story. First off, it’s the title. Second, it plays a huge role in the plot, forming the beginning and the end of the story. It also plays a really important part in the middle by bringing Calixta and Alcee together, pushing them into each other’s arms and giving them the time and space to get physical before the world outside returns to normal. Assumption Assumption is the small town where Calixta and Alcee met up and shared kisses long ago.
It’s also, tellingly, where they did not give in to their carnal desires completely – they never had sex there.The name Assumption has religious connotations that remind us of virginity and chastity. In Christianity, it’s a reference to a specific event: the Virgin Mary’s ascent to heaven after she dies. Whitenes With all the whiteness mentioned repeatedly throughout the story, “The Storm” practically reaches Moby-Dick levels. White usually symbolizes purity or chastity, but this story twists it around to represent sexual desire and longing. While this whiteness in literature would traditionally refer to a body that the male character couldn’t access, that purity is transformed into sexuality here.The “flame” of Calixta’s “passion” is “white”; her body in all its ecstasy is “like a creamy lily.
” In this story, the color white might almost be better understood as red-hot. It means giving in, not holding back.
SUMMARY
Bobinot and his four-year-old son, Bibi, are at Friedheimer’s store when a particularly violent storm emerges. The two decide to remain at the store until the storm passes. Meanwhile, back at their house, Calixta is so occupied with her sewing that, at first, she does not notice the ominous clouds or thunder.Finally, she notices that it is growing darker outside and decides to shut the windows and retrieve Bobinot’s clothes, which are hanging outside. Alcee, one of Calixta’s former beaus, rides up on his horse and helps her remove the remaining clothes from the line.
The storm worsens and Calixta invites Alcee into her home until it abates. Alcee is hesitant to come in and stays outside until it becomes apparent that the storm is not going to let up. Calixta gathers up the lengths of cotton sheet she had been sewing while Alcee takes a seat in the rocker.Calixta goes over to the window and observes the intensity of the storm and worries about her husband and son. Alcee attempts to comfort her and reminisces about the passion they once felt for each another. As the storm increases in intensity, so does the passion of the two former lovers. Alcee brings up the passion and love they once had for one another.
The adulterers’ sexual encounter ends at the same time as the storm. Alcee rides off on his horse. Bobinot and Bibi return from the store and Calixta immediately embraces them.Calixta acts like nothing hadwas happened and she even wants to feast with her husband their way back to home. The story ends with the sentence: “So the storm passed and everyone was happy” symbolizing Calixta and Alcee were happy to have the affair. This is also a good sentence to summarize the whole of the story. When the storm hashave passed they all returned to the normality.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Kate_Chopin http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Storm_%28short_story%29 http://www. katechopin. org/the-storm.
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