Desire and Female Sexuality in The Storm by Kate Chopin Essay

Desire and Female Sexuality in The Storm by Kate Chopin Essay

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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. In failing to condemn, and even condoning Calixta’s behavior, as well as acknowledging the existence and depth of sexual desire in women, Chopin infuses “The Storm” with a strong feminist quality. Chopin calls the very institution of marriage into question with this story.
The simple presence of Calixta’s sexual desire and its prominent intensity make this story innovative in its’ Feminist statement about women and their sexuality. Chopin uses the symbolism of a thunderstorm to describe the passion between Calixta and Alcee. First, Calixta is not fully aware of the approaching storm, and her desires may not be quite as obvious to her; yet as the storm continues, Calixta gets increasingly aroused. I believe that Chopin deliberately put these events side by side when she writes “felt very warm…she unfastened her white saque at the throat. It began to grow dark and suddenly realizing the situation she got up and hurriedly went about closing windows and doors”(Chopin, 1898,pg1). The ever growing storm serves as a metaphor for Calixta’s growing passion, suggesting that both the tension in the air and the sexual tensio...


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...nor does she have an excuse sanctioned by society. This expression of sexual passion does not become a moralizing tale about the value or inherentess of the female virtue. Thus, Chopin presents a bold, new idea; namely that women experience desire and should be allowed to act upon that desire with selfish intent, just as men have been allowed to do throughout history.
In conclusion, I believe this story relates to today by the way some people view female sexuality. Even though a woman’s uninhibited sexuality is more acceptable now-a-days, it is still frowned upon to a certain extent. When a woman sleeps with more than a few men, she sometimes is considered to be a slut or a whore. But if a man does the same exact thing, he’s just sewing his wild oats. Is this fair? I would think not, but that goes to show you society’s views on what is acceptable and what is a


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