Comparing Kate Chopin’s The Storm and T. Coraghessan Boyle’s Greasy Lake

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Comparing Kate Chopin’s The Storm and T. Coraghessan Boyle’s Greasy Lake

Kate Chopin and T. Coraghessan Boyle made excellent use of the elements point of view, character, and setting in their short stories “The Storm” and “Greasy Lake”. Kate Chopin’s characters and events follow the setting—the storm. This greatly enhances her work. Boyle’s characters mirror his setting as well—a greasy lake. It is amazing how much greater depth and deeper the insight is for a story when the potentials of elements of writing are fulfilled and utilized.

Chopin’s “The Storm” is written in third-person objective point of view. The narrator is not involved with the characters in any way, just telling the story as it happened. The narrator is also omniscient which makes the point of view a normal, usual telling of the story. Chopin uses this to emphasize the uniqueness of her setting. It is also interesting to know how characters feel that the reader hasn’t even been introduced to yet in the story. Clarisse, Alcee Laballiere’s wife was not even in the main events of the story and yet we know that “their intimate conjugal life was something which she was more than willing to forego for a while” (Chopin 116). Boyle’s short story “Greasy Lake” is written fro the point of view of the main character of the story. This is important because the reader needs to feel the fear and see the murkiness of the lake through the eyes of a participant in the story. “I suddenly felt a rush of joy and vindication: the son of a bitch was alive! Just as quickly, my bowels turned to ice” (Boyle 133).

Calixta is the main character in Chopin’s “The Storm.” Calixta is a fairly flat character who plays a static role in...

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...X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, 8th Ed., edited by Joseph Terry. New York: Longman, 2002.

Chopin, Kate. “The Storm.” Eds. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, 8th Ed., edited by Joseph Terry. New York: Longman,

Cutter, Martha J. “The Search for a Feminine Voice in the Works of Kate Chopin”. Unruly Tongue: Identity and Voice in American Women’s Writing, 1850-1930, pp. 87-109. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 1999.

Hennessy, Denis. Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 218: American Short-Story Writers Since World War II, Second Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Patrick Meanor, State University of New York at Oneonta, and Gwen Crane, State University of New York at Oneonta. Gale Group, 1999. pp. 70-77.

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