A Storm of Emotion in Kate Chopin's The Storm

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The Storm of Emotion

Usually a storm creeps upon us, hits a luminous climax, and then fades away into nothingness. In The Storm, Kate Chopin develops a parallel between a rainstorm and an emotional storm in a woman’s life. Chopin uses symbolism to depict the feelings of relationships that are as unpredictable as that of a raging storm.

In the time frame that this story is set, many major life decisions things are made taking into account one’s duty to family - including the selection of a husband or wife. It is possible that each of these couples may not have been in love, when their vows were stated. They have a duty to society; they must not marry outside of their social class. They have a duty to their family; they must not disgrace the family by not marrying. They have a duty to him or herself, they must not allow themselves to be alone. If they marry because there is no other choice, or because of a sense of duty, it is unlikely that they will have a fulfilling relationship. It appears as though Calixta and Bobinot are content, and if they did not love each other when they were first married, then they have learned to love each other as the time passed.

Mr. and Mrs. Laballiere seem to be content, but their relationship seems to belacking something. There doesn t seem to be any closeness of any kind. Clarisse is quite content to forgo their intimate conjugal life at least for a little while. The delay in Clarisse s arrival home is encouraged by Alcee, which seems odd for a husband who is lovingly, devoted to his life long companion.

Chopin uses the details to create symbolism that represents the bonds of therelationship between Alcee and Calixta. There is an awkwardness to...

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...ife is felt anew as the two lovers say good-bye in a glistening green world (668). Alcee and Calixta can return to their families as hopeful, vibrant people and continue their lives with a little more love and vitality.

Ms. Chopin magnificently gathers the descriptive details and uses them in such away that her meaning is comprehensible to the reader. The reader sees the complete storm, from the first raindrops to the last. She uses unique, creative symbolism to portray the thoughts and emotions that so often fade with the storm. The storm washes the depressing, dingy dust away, and allows new hope and vigor to spring up in its place. So the storm passed and everyone was happy (669).

Work Cited

Chopin, Kate. "The Storm." Literature Across Cultures. Eds. Sheena Gillepie, Terzinha Fonseca, Carol A. Sanger 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001.

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