Criticism of The Storm by Kate Chopin

651 Words3 Pages
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. In a time when women were expected to behave "properly" and sexual desire was considered to be something only experienced by men, Chopin spoke with exceptional openness about human sexuality. She lambasted society for its perpetual close-mindedness in a time when righteousness was considered to be an attribute, and she helped to generate more enlightened attitudes among both the women and men of her time.

In The Storm, the character of Calixta is unable to fulfill society's standards of virtue, despite her perceived purity by her lover Alcee. When Alcee professes, "If she was not an immaculate dove in those days, she was still inviolate" (p. 34), he is basically saying that just because a woman is not chaste, does not mean she is not pure of heart. After all, it was Calixta's marriage which had stripped her of her chastity status. So why should her morality be called into question? Of course the morality i...
Open Document