Asserting Your Independence by Testing The Boundaries of Sexuality in "The Storm"

Asserting Your Independence by Testing The Boundaries of Sexuality in "The Storm"

Length: 983 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

caught in their own individual marital obligations to people other than themselves. The passion they have for each other, though, overtakes any kind of desire to stay committed to their spouses with minimal regrets as the story progresses. A great majority of the narrative in the “The Storm” implies that testing ones boundaries in human sexuality is one of the more passionate forms of asserting one’s own independence. This approach greatly contradicts the opposing beliefs of traditional cultures that have an extreme disapproval of any kind of experimentation or heavy passion outside of one’s own marriage. Despite the fact that extra-marital activities such as the ones that occurred between Calixta and Alcee were widely prohibited at that time, the physical aspects of the incoming storm that occurred outside allowed a plentiful amount of time for an emotional storm to also form and sweep through inside.
The liveliness and drive in “The Storm” is first introduced to readers in the title of the story. First glimpse of it suggests that there would be much more to experience in the story than just a nasty weather incident. This recognition is very important to the interpretation of the story. A storm, even in its normal and physical context, is a reflection of nature, which in itself is feminine and can also be seen as a reference to female sexuality. This image re-appears throughout the whole story and aids in allowing readers to fully understand the true context of what seems to be somewhat innocent dialogue and narration throughout the story.
When Alcee had first come to the house seeking shelter from the rain storm outside, Calixta let him in her home to get him out of harm’s way. She still had feelings towards him from a previou...


... middle of paper ...


...y innocent enough when you think of it in the outer context used, as a white flame of burning passion. Turn that white flame of burning passion into something physical, though, and one can only use their imagination to discover what the real “penetration” actually is. The response received was the reactions she was getting from Alcee during the passionate encounter.
The last line of “The Storm” is very important in its relationship to the work as a whole. The line seems to be thrown randomly into the story: “So the storm passed and everyone was happy” (534). Throughout the narrative, Chopin intertwined feminine sexuality through symbolism of the storm. The ending is therefore not exactly clear in meaning. It could be seen as a way to say the storm is over and all is well or as a way of implying that for now all is calm, but the storm may return once again (Stein).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Female Sexuality & Desire in Chopin's The Storm Essay

- Female Sexuality & Desire in Chopin's The Storm           In Kate Chopin's time traditional patriarchal notions about women and sexuality deemed sexual passion a negligible, even improper, aspect of women's lives. Yet Chopin boldly addresses a woman's sexual desire in her short story "The Storm". This story shockingly details a torrid extramarital sexual encounter between Calixta and Alcee` in the midst of a raging storm. While this story line could have been presented in a traditional light, perhaps as a lesson about the evils of uninhibited female sexuality, Chopin maintains a non-judgmental stance by refraining from moralizing about the sanctity of marriage or impropriety of Calixta's...   [tags: Chopin Storm Essays]

Strong Essays
1836 words (5.2 pages)

Feminine Sexuality and Passion in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

- Feminine Sexuality and Passion in Kate Chopin's The Storm        In Kate Chopin's short story The Storm, the narrative surrounds the brief extramarital affair of two individuals, Calixta and Alcée. Many critics do not see the story as a condemnation of infidelity, but rather as an affirmation of human sexuality. This essay argues that "The Storm" may be interpreted as an affirmation of feminine sexuality and passion as well as a condemnation of its repression by the constraints of society.             If one is to attempt to interpret The Storm, it becomes necessary to examine the conditions surrounding the story's genesis....   [tags: Kate Chopin Storm Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
2339 words (6.7 pages)

Criticism of The Storm by Kate Chopin Essay

- Criticism of The Storm by Kate Chopin While it has traditionally been men who have attached the "ball and chain" philosophy to marriage, Kate Chopin gave readers a woman’s view of how repressive and confining marriage can be for a woman, both spiritually and sexually. While many of her works incorporated the notion of women as repressed beings ready to erupt into a sexual a hurricane, none were as tempestuous as The Storm. Kate Chopin was a woman whose feminist viewpoints were far ahead of her time, which of course garnered her more than her share of criticism....   [tags: Kate Chopin Storm Sexuality Essays]

Strong Essays
651 words (1.9 pages)

The Power of Fear Illustrated in "The Storm" Essay

- Fear. By definition it is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain, whether the threat is real or imaginary. Fear has power, but only when the person feeling it gives it power. In “The Storm” Janet gives power to her fear, and by doing so, fear masks what Janet should truly be afraid of, leading to the development of her character, the conflicts within her mind, and the overall theme of the short story. Throughout the story, Janet is depicted as a person with a “pale face with a blunt nose, slender with a childlike figure, and plain.” Because of this characterization it is not difficult to understand her mentality for protection....   [tags: the storm]

Strong Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

Feminine Sexuality in The Storm Essay

- Kate Chopin's short story 'The Storm'; describes an encounter of infidelity between two lovers during a brief thunderstorm. The story alludes to the controversial topic of women's sexuality and passion, which during Chopin's time no one spoke about much less wrote about. So controversial was 'The Storm,'; that it was not published until after her death in eighteen ninety-nine. The story is broken up into five sections, each filled with small clues and hints that reflect her message. In short, Kate Chopin's 'The Storm'; is about a confirmation of feminine sexuality and passion and a rejection of the suppression of it by society....   [tags: Kate Chopin]

Strong Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Desire and Female Sexuality in The Storm by Kate Chopin Essay

- In Kate Chopin’s time, women and their sexuality and sexual passion was deemed a negligible, even improper, aspect of women’s lives. Yet Chopin boldly addresses a woman’s sexual desire in her short story “The Storm”. This story puts into great detail a torrid extramarital sexual encounter between Calixta and Alcee in the midst of a raging storm. While “The Storm” could have been presented in a traditional light, perhaps as a lesson of the evils of uninhibited female sexuality, Chopin maintains a non- judgmental stance by refraining from moralizing about the sanctity of marriage or impropriety of Calixta’s actions....   [tags: women, feminist quality, calixta]

Strong Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Kate Chopin 's The Storm

- In Kate Chopin’s “The Storm”, she offers an intoxicating account of two souls awakened by a storm. The story was composed on July 19, 1898. At this time in history women were considered objects, their sole purpose in life was to serve their husbands. In addition, social stratification was an important aspect of society that determined who they married. Calixta’s marriage could have been a product of an arrangement, making it of unnatural origin. Chopin points out singular characteristics of the storm to shed light on the uncommon strength of a marriage when it is not determined by social norms....   [tags: Sexual intercourse, Human sexuality]

Strong Essays
1218 words (3.5 pages)

Essay Asserting Masculinity in the Cultural Context of Camp

- Asserting Masculinity in the Cultural Context of Camp Summer camp is an important annual experience in many children’s lives. Some kids choose to continue with camp long past their camper years and become counselors. A program, the Camper in Leadership Training (CILT) program, exists within the camp structure as a leadership program designed to educate kids, aged fifteen through seventeen, on how to become effective counselors. Each session typically concludes with a closing campfire, which the male CILTs extinguish after the females have left by urinating on the embers....   [tags: Sociology Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
1428 words (4.1 pages)

Essay The Storm

- The Storm In Kate Chopin’s short story “The Storm”, the narrative surrounds the brief extramarital affair of two individuals, Calixta and Alcee. The story does not seem to be as a condemnation of infidelity, but rather as an affirmation of human sexuality. “The Storm” may be interpreted as a specific affirmation of feminine sexuality and passion cojoined with a condemnation of its repression by the constraints of society. Even though the adultery considered a crime at that period of time, the storm allowed a moment....   [tags: English Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

The Storm Essay

- “The Storm” may be interpreted as a condemnation of societal constraints upon feminine sexuality. As Calixta “unfastened her white sacque at the throat” she was taking off chains of oppression of her sexuality. When Calixta “nervously began to gather up from the floor the lengths of a cotton sheet which she had been sewing” she is putting her duties away for pleasure and is finally going to fulfill her birthright for passionate sex. In “The Storm” Calixta is a shameless married woman who “lifted her pretty chin in the air and laughed aloud” after committing an adulteress act....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
394 words (1.1 pages)