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

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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).

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